Arabs slam US embassy move as ‘aggression,’ ‘crime’

The Palestinians and the Arab League threatened repercussions in response to the US plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem in May.   

By: World Israel News Staff

The Arab world responded in anger to the news that the US embassy will be moved to Jerusalem this coming May, coinciding with Israel’s 70th Independence Day.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday condemned “in the strongest terms” the American announcement regarding acceleration of the embassy move, saying they considered it “a provocative aggression against the Palestinian people.”

The fact that it will take place in May, “when Palestinians mark 70 years for their dispersal and uprooting from their homeland,” is “offensive to the feelings of Arabs and Muslims, in addition to being a blatant violation of international law and United Nations resolutions,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The decision “is a direct aggression against the Palestinian people and their just and legitimate national rights, while at the same time rewarding the occupation for its violations and crimes, especially as it coincides with the anniversary of the Nakba [‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, referring to Israel’s independence] that afflicted the Palestinian people and is still ongoing, and encouraging it to continue to destroy any chance for peace based on a two-state solution,” the statement continued.

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The US administration “has therefore lost any credibility to talk about efforts to bring peace and resume negotiations,” the Ministry concluded, urging the international community to “oppose this step by the Americans and to restate their position that East Jerusalem is part and parcel of the occupied Palestinian territories and the capital of the future state of Palestine.”

Hamas threatens regional explosion

The Hamas terror organization slammed the move as a “violation of international law.”

Spokesman Abdul-Latif al-Qanou said Hamas considers moving the US embassy to Jerusalem “an intended negligence of our people and a new aggression on their rights and their holy sites. This is a clear provocation of the feelings of the Islamic and Arab nations.”

“Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is a violation of the international law and goes against the international conventions,” Hamas stated.

Such a move could “never legalize the Zionist occupation of our land or change the reality and identity of Jerusalem,” al-Qanou asserted.

Hamas threatened to “bravely confront the plan to relocate the US embassy,” warning that it “will be the trigger that will detonate the whole area in the face of the Israeli occupation.”

‘A new and dangerous episode’

Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem on the 70th anniversary of the “Palestinian exodus, the Nakba,” is “likely going to undermine the last chance of peace and coexistence between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

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The decision “represents a new and dangerous episode in the series of provocations and wrong [US] decisions that have been going on since last December,” Mahmoud Afifi, spokesman for Gheit, said in a press statement. It “reveals the full bias [of the US] towards Israel… This annuls the capacity required for the US to sponsor a peaceful process leading to a just and lasting solution to the conflict.”

He added that the embassy move should have no legal impact on the status of Jerusalem as “an occupied territory,” as the vast majority of the countries have rejected the US decision.

“The Arab countries are determined to address all the negative consequences of this resolution and to ensure that no other country makes a similar move in the future, so the US move would always be isolated,” he stated.

A delegation of five foreign ministers of Arab countries will head to Brussels next Sunday to meet European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, along with other EU foreign ministers, where the “question of Palestine” will be on top of the agenda, Afifi said.

The Israeli leadership warmly welcomed the American announcement, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as a “great moment for the State of Israel.”

“President Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem will make our Independence Day celebrations even happier,” he said, thanking President Donald Trump for his “leadership and friendship.”