If US President-elect Donald Trump moves the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as he and his staff had said he would after he takes office later this month, then he would have declared the peace process dead, secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said on Saturday.
He told Voice of Palestine radio that moving the embassy to Jerusalem is recognition of Israel’s annexation of the occupied city, which means destroying all chances of peace.
“We call on the United States not to do this,” he said, “because if it is done, it means recognition of Israeli annexation of Jerusalem, which means destroying the peace process and ending all chances of peace,” said Erekat.
“We hope the US will be wiser than to adopt such a step,” he said.
The PLO official said if the new US administration proceeds with moving the embassy to Jerusalem, then the Palestinians will definitely act. “We are considering in the PLO what to do,” he said.
Erekat said instead of holding Israel accountable for its “crimes” against the Palestinian people and compel it to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 adopted last month which condemned Israeli settlements, it is being rewarded and treated as a country above the law.
“Israel is violating all laws,” he said. “For this reason, we are going to ask the signatories to the Geneva Convention and the UN General Assembly to act in order to have this resolution implemented,” explaining that even though the resolution did not come under Article 7, which allows use of force to implement a Security Council resolution, it did come under Article 6, which also compels states to enforce it.
Erekat was not the only one who warned of dire consequences if the new Trump administration changes long standing US and world policy toward the Palestinian conflict with Israel and which refuses to recognize Israel’s control over the territories it occupied in June 1967.
President Mahmoud Abbas had also described talk about moving the embassy to Jerusalem as “an aggression,” warning that “it is a red line, which we will not accept,” and which will enter the region and world peace into a crisis that will be difficult to come out from.
US Secretary of State John Kerry had also warned of an explosion in the region if the embassy is moved to Jerusalem.
“You’d have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region,” he told the American TV station CBS.
“If all of a sudden, Jerusalem is declared to be the location of our embassy, that has issues of sovereignty, issues of law that would deem to be affected by that move and by the United States acquiescing in that move and that would have profound impact on the readiness of Jordan and Egypt to be able to be supportive and engaged with Israel as they are today,” warned Kerry.