Palestinians struggle to stop US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

The Palestinians are pressuring whomever they can in an attempt to block the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

The Palestinians have been feverishly working to thwart a pending announcement by President Donald Trump that the US officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

According to reports, Trump will make the announcement on Wednesday, while signing a waiver that postpones the moving of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas has been in contact with several world leaders to assess the situation and encourage them to take action in order not to allow for those initiatives to materialize into a new political reality, the Palestinian official WAFA news agency reported.

The leaders to whom Abbas is appealing to discuss the consequences of such a move include Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and leaders of other Islamic and Gulf countries. According to media reports, his supplications have yielded little if any support.

Abbas on Sunday instructed Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki to hold two urgent meetings on the issue with the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss the situation.

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Al-Malki said that a US move on Jerusalem would make the US lose its central place in the peace process as “a biased country to the Israeli occupation.”

Al-Malki said he holds the US responsible for the consequences of such a move, saying it will inflame the situation in the region. “The US should have presented its plan to solve the situation and not further complicate it,” he said.

Of the meetings with the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, al-Malki said that he hopes “the decisions made will be compatible with the size and importance of Jerusalem, being the capital of the Palestinian state and the holiest of holies.”

US Promoting International Anarchy?

The Palestinian leadership is slated to convene to approve necessary steps in case such an announcement is made, said PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief peace negotiator.

Erekat warned on Sunday that US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will “promote international anarchy.”

He said in a statement, “If the US Administration decides to contradict its international commitments and historic foreign policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it is not only going to promote international anarchy and disrespect for global institutions and law, but it will also be disqualifying itself to play any role in any initiative towards achieving a just and lasting peace.”

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He stressed that such a decision “will contribute to the further destabilization of the region and will discourage many of those who still believe that a peaceful solution is achievable.”

“Jerusalem is the social, political, cultural, religious and economic heart of Palestine,” he asserted, saying it was also the “heart of the Arab World. It is a significant symbol of our region and its fate is key to any efforts leading to a peaceful and stable region.”

Reacting to the reports over the weekend, the Palestinians threatened violence in the wake of such US recognition.

Palestinian-US relations were recently shaken when the US State Department decided last month not to renew the permit that would allow the PLO delegation office in Washington to remain open.

In this case too, the Palestinians threatened that if the office is not allowed to reopen, they will cut all communication with the US administration.