RAMALLAH: The Palestinian president’s office warned on Friday of the potential destructive effects of any move denying their claim to east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. The statement comes as US President Donald Trump is due to decide by Monday on whether to move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and fiercely oppose any changes that could be regarded as legitimising Israel’s occupation and annexation of it.
Without referring to Trump or the US by name, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said any just solution in the Middle East required recognition of east Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
“East Jerusalem, with its holy places, is the beginning and the end of any solution and any project that saves the region from destruction,” he said in a statement on the official Wafa news agency.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.
No countries currently have their embassies in Jerusalem, instead keeping them in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv.
Trump is due to decide by Monday on whether to renew a six-month waiver on moving the embassy.
He pledged during his campaign to move the embassy to Jerusalem but renewed the waiver in May.
Reports emerged on Friday that Trump could again delay moving the embassy but recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump has said he wants to relaunch frozen peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in search of the “ultimate deal”.
Analysts say any major shift in US policy would make that goal more difficult to achieve. — AFP