Palestinians react to US embassy move to Jerusalem
Jerusalem has political and historical significance to Jews, Muslims and Christians and has been a major source of contention between Israel and Palestine. (AFP/File)
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One a day into the nightmarish reality of a President Trump and the maverick leader has already stirred controversy in the Middle East, rattling Palestinians with yesterday’s White House announcement that the US embassy to Israel will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
"The situation is very dangerous," Saeb Erekat, second in line to President Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestine Liberation Organization, told the official Voice of Palestine radio on Monday.
Erekat drew parallels between Trump’s provocative plans and the actions of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's, whose visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in 2000 spurred the second Intifada.
Meanwhile, PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas ran into the arms of Jordanian Kind Abdullah. The two Arab leaders met yesterday, to discuss what action should be taken if Trump turns out to be true to his word.
"Talk about moving the embassy is important to the king and us," he said in Amman. "We urge the new US administration to either stop talking about moving the embassy to Jerusalem, or to engage with us in serious negotiations ... to reach a political solution."
A senior Hamas leader also warned Trump against the plans, saying it would harm regional stability.
In a statement posted on the Hamas website on Sunday, Moussa Abu Marzouq said: “The relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will pose an increasing danger.”
Abu Marzouq slammed statements by Trump and his aides, saying they “neither serve stability in the region nor serve the U.S. itself”.
The views of these officials clearly extended to the rest of Palestine’s community. On Thursday, hundreds of Palestinians used Trump's inaugration day to protest across different city centres of the West Bank against his support to move the US to Jerusalem.
Protestors in Palestine's make-shift capital, Ramallah, gathered around Al-Manara square, holding signs including “Trump, take your racism away from the Holy City”, “Our dignity is non-negotiable.. Do not touch Jerusalem,” and “the whole world is moving forward but the Trump administration is moving backwards.”
A number of Palestinians, and Arabs in general, also took to Twitter to condemn Trump’s plans, with the hashtag “Jerusalem is ours” emerging in reaction to Trump’s statements.
معا يدا بيد ضد قرار ترامب لنقل السفارة الأمريكية للقدس #القدس_لنا— Fatima M. shbair (@FatimaMshbair) January 23, 2017
تفاعلوا مع الهاشتاق ووصلوه لأصدقائكم
We are together hand in hand against Trump’s decision to transfer the American embassy to Jerusalem. Participate in the hashtag and bring it to your friends.
#Abbas has said that in the case Trump transfers the embassy to Jerusalem, that will confirm to the Israelis that he is a friend to them. What does that make him now (as if he wasn’t already a friend)?
Jerusalem is the beating heart of Palestine. We refuse the decision to transfer the American embassy there.
Jerusalem has political and historical significance to Jews, Muslims and Christians and has been a major source of contention between Israel and Palestine.
While Israel claims the city as its "eternal capital," following the occupation of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israel war, the international community does not recognize the claim and foreign embassies are currently located in Tel Aviv.
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