Palestine (GPA) – In two separate statements, leaders from both Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Hamas warned about the dangers of Donald Trump’s proposal to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The first statement, in the form of a warning, was sent to the White House on Sunday by PNA President, Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas warned Washington that if the embassy move went ahead, the PNA had a “series of measures” prepared.
Abbas was also backed up by US ally Jordan, after a meeting with King Abdullah II where he committed his country to whatever measure the PNA has planned. The Jordanian government is concerned that the instability caused by the possible embassy move could impact their oversight of several Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.
Abbas said after the meeting that he hopes “the American administration will act on two levels, one, to not discuss moving the embassy to Jerusalem and second, for the administration to lead negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis with the aim of achieving a political settlement.” Abbas also sent pleas for assistance to British Prime Minister Theresa May and Russian President Vladimir Putin asking for help in getting the US to reconsider the move, which he warned would be “disastrous” and bring on “the destruction of the peace process.”
Hamas also released a statement by a senior official, Moussa Abu Marzouq on their website Sunday. Abu Marzouq said in the statement that “The relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will pose an increasing danger,” and that if it happened, the US would be crossing Hamas’ “red line.”
Abu Marzouq warned that the statements and plans by Trump and his cabinet “neither serve stability in the region nor serve the U.S. itself.” Abu Marzouq also worried that the move “would encourage Israelis to lean toward extremism,” presumably like what has already been seen through the actions of Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
It seems that for once the PNA and Hamas agree on the ramifications of an issue since both have described an embassy move as a “crime,” and “crossing a red line.” It is likely US allies and adversaries alike would be outraged by further pressure applied by Israel on the Palestinians. Palestine’s cause is championed by countries from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Iran. Nobody can be sure if the embassy will actually be moved but many, even some Israelis, agree that the move is both unnecessary and would heighten tension in the area.