Monday, May 22, 2017

Palestinian Negotiator Warns Trump: Moving Embassy Will End Peace Process

TEL AVIV — Moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would end the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned on Saturday.
“We believe that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would mean the end of the peace process,” said Erekat, who is also secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), during a World Economic Forum meeting at the Dead Sea in Jordan on Saturday.
Erekat’s warning is the latest of a series of similar declarations from Arab and Muslim leaders.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is slated to meet with Trump in Bethlehem on Tuesday, said in January that if Trump moves the embassy, it will “destroy the peace process.” Abbas’ senior aide and the PA’s supreme Sharia judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash stated that an embassy transfer would be a “declaration of war.” And earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Erdogan said it would be “extremely ill-advised” for Trump to move the embassy.
Erekat said a Palestinian state without eastern Jerusalem as its capital would have “no meaning.” He also expressed his hope that “President Trump would give us a chance.”
“He said … he will not impose solutions on us or on the Israelis,” Erekat said. “(But) the fact that he is going to move the embassy is imposition, is dictation.”
Erekat also met with opposition member Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) – his counterpart in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – and the two expressed their hope that Trump would be successful in his efforts to jumpstart the moribund peace process. READ MORE