Palestinians Deny Trump Gave Assurances that Embassy will not Move to Jerusalem

Has Trump reneged on his promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital?

According to a senior Palestinian official quoted by the Asharq Al-Awsat daily, the Palestinian leadership has received reassurances from the Trump administration that a plan for an historical relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been suspended.

While the source declined to disclose the party that conveyed the message, it stressed that authorities in Ramallah were now relieved.

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Dr. Ahmed Majdalani, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee member and senior assistant to Abbas,  said that preliminary indicators have shown that Trump went back on his decision.

Majdalani said that one of the reasons for this is that the US is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and any violation it commits to international resolutions would encourage other members, such as China and Russia, to breach other resolutions by the UNSC.

However, the Times of Israel quoted Palestinians sources on Wednesday who completely dismissed this report.

The report quoted “senior Palestinian sources” who “flatly denied the report, saying no such assurances had been given by the US.”

The Awsat report was considered unreliable from the start as it contradicted repeated promises by President Trump and several of his top aides that the embassy move would take place under his administration.

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Commenting on the issue on Sunday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer stated that the Trump administration is only “at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject.”

On the Thursday before his inauguration, Trump told the Israel Hayom daily that he is not a person who breaks promises, including his commitment to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“Of course I remember what I said about Jerusalem,” Trump said. “You know that I am not a person who breaks promises,” Trump stressed.

Trump’s campaign promise to move the US embassy was met with applause by Israel but was strongly condemned by Palestinian leaders.

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas threatened that any attempt to move the embassy to Jerusalem would be considered more than a provocation, and hinted at the reversal of the Palestinians’ supposed recognition of Israel as a prelude to further belligerent steps.

Responding to the Awsat report on Wednesday, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told IDF Radio that Israel was “sitting in the bleachers” on the embassy issue.

“I assume this issue will be debated in the US for some time. We know the issue was always an internal disagreement between Congress, which demanded in legislation that the State Department move the embassy, and the various administrations that promised what they promised but then pulled back,” he said.

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However, Hanegbi has no doubt the final decision will be to move the embassy. “It may be creative, maybe a gradual [move].”

He added that even without relocating the embassy, a move by Washington to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would also be very significant.

By: World Israel News Staff