JERUSALEM – Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel marks the end of Washington’s role as a “peace broker.”
By proclaiming Jerusalem the Israeli capital and ordering the start of preparations to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City, Trump “has chosen to disregard all international resolutions and bilateral agreements” as well as the global consensus on the issue, Abbas said in a broadcast address.
“These measures are a reward to Israel’s violations of international resolutions and an encouragement for Israel to continue its policy of occupation, settlements, apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” he said.
Trump’s statement, according to Abbas, “is a declaration of the withdrawal of the United States from playing the role which it has played over the past decades as a peace broker.”
At the same time, the leader of the Palestinian Authority said that Jerusalem’s “history and size dictate that its identity will not change by a US decision.”
Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs Palestinians in Gaza, also insisted that Trump’s move would not change the religious, legal or administrative status of Jerusalem.
“Trump’s decision on Jerusalem will not succeed in changing the fact that Jerusalem is an Arab Muslim land,” a Hamas spokesperson said.
While the group’s political chief, Ismail Haniye, said that Palestinians have become accustomed to seeing their interests and desires ignored and know how to respond in such situations.
“The youth and the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank need to respond with all means available to the US decision that harms our Jerusalem,” Hamas said in a statement. “The resistance will not allow any desecration of it.”
Palestinians see East Jerusalem, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, as the capital of their future state.
Until now, no nation that maintains diplomatic relations with Israel has moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and under the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians, the city’s final status is to be settled by negotiations.