Manuel Hassassian, the PA’s UK representative, tells BBC President Trump is ‘declaring war on 1.5 billion Muslims’ and that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will cause anarchy.
By: Jack Ben David, World Israel News
The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) diplomatic representative to the United Kingdom warned Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will constitute a “declaration of war.”
Speaking in an interview with the BBC ahead of Trump’s speech, Prof. Manuel Hassassian said, “If he says what he is intending to say about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, it means a kiss of death to the two state solution.”
Hassassian, the PA’s representative in the UK since 2005, warned that Trump’s declaration would signify the final nail in the coffin of the moribund peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The declaration has been long awaited in Israel and was welcomed by the Israeli government and its largest opposition parties. Hassassian accused the US president of throwing any peace prospects between the warring parties into disarray.
“At the time when the entire Middle East and the Palestinians and Israelis need a certain breakthrough in a re-engagement in negotiations, here he comes, you know, to start a whole new episode of confusion, anarchy, distortion to the concept of the two state solution,” he said.
Insisting that the declaration would crush the peace blueprint to which the international community has clung for decades, Hassassian concluded that Trump is essentially planning to declare war on Muslims worldwide, as well as on Christians.
“He is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims, hundreds of millions of Christians that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel that … east Jerusalem has always been known as the future capital of Palestine, let alone that it is under occupation,” he continued.
‘All means’ used to offset declaration’s significance
Since news of Trump’s intentions surfaced on Tuesday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas attempted to rally world leaders behind a campaign aimed at exerting pressure on the US administration to abandon the plan. He also consulted with Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh and agreed that protests will be staged.
Speaking to the Al Jazeera news channel, Haniyeh pledged that “all means” would be employed after Trump’s declaration to offset its significance, apparently referring to a new round of terror.
In a round of phone calls made on Tuesday to Arab leaders, Trump informed them of his decision to fulfill his presidential campaign pledge of moving the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In his speech Wednesday, he affirmed that indeed he intends to relocate the embassy. Nonetheless, he signed the waiver, delaying the move by six months, for logistical reasons.
The president also stressed his commitment to achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that would benefit both sides. The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the holy city are subject to final status negotiations, he said.