Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Friday condemned attempts by the Republican-dominated US government to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying that such a move would send the Middle East peace process and the entire world into a “crisis.”
During a meeting organized to celebrate Orthodox Christmas in Beit Sahour in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, Abbas demanded that the American administration accept UN resolution 2334, passed last month after US President Obama abstained from voting, which condemned Israel’s illegal settlement expansion on occupied Palestinian territory.
Abbas reiterated that East Jerusalem was the Palestinian capital, and also a holy site for the three monotheistic religions — Islam, Christianity, and Judaism — and highlighted that each has the right to access and perform religious practices in Jerusalem.
Palestine to Be Recognized as Sovereign State in 2017: Abbas https://t.co/fbzcsAuGJS#Palestine#MahmoudAbbas#UN pic.twitter.com/do8241tIRD
— Alwaght (@EnglishAlwaght) January 1, 2017
Abbas’ statement came following the introduction of a bill to Congress on Wednesday, spearheaded by three US senators — Republicans Ted Cruz (Texas), Dean Heller (Nevada), and Marco Rubio (Florida) — that would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, defying international stances on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict resting on a two-state solution.
If implemented, the bill would give legitimacy to Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem since 1967, disregard Palestinian claims to the city, and possibly terminate a longstanding White House policy to perpetually defer a 1995 Congressional decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the embassy there.
Abbas invited President-elect Donald Trump to visit Palestine, particularly Bethlehem city, and urged the soon-to-be President not to make any changes to the status of East Jerusalem that rests on a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital, calling the potential legitimization of Israel’s illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem a “red line.”
#Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas receives Israelis for third time this month | #Israel #IsraeliSettlements https://t.co/UqWSJUJQor
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) December 31, 2016
President-Elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the American President on Jan. 20. The soon-to-be president of the United States pledged during his campaign that, if elected, he would ensure that the US embassy in Israel was moved to Jerusalem, with Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway reiterating last month that the move would be a “very big priority” for the Trump administration.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)