Erekat: Moving the American embassy would destroy peace

PLO Secretary General warns Trump that moving the American embassy to Jerusalem would be "the destruction of the peace process".

Elad Benari, Canada,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Amir Levy/Flash 90

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat warned on Friday that moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would destroy the prospects of peace.

Jerusalem was a final-status issue to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, Erekat was quoted by AFP as having told journalists, and making a decision on it now "will be the destruction of the peace process".

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly promised during the election campaign to move the American embassy to Jerusalem in recognition of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital city

Earlier this week, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that moving the embassy to Jerusalem "is a very big priority for this president-elect, Donald Trump."

Erekat's remarks came a day after Trump announced his decision to nominate David Friedman as the American ambassador to Israel. Friedman said following the announcement that he looked forward to working for peace "from the U.S. embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem".

Erekat warned of the potential outcome of moving the embassy and a change in the "longstanding position" of the United States that considers "the settlements as illegal".

"I look David Friedman and Trump in the eye and tell them -- if you were to take these steps of moving the embassy and annexing settlements in the West Bank, you are sending this region down the path of something that I call chaos, lawlessness and extremism," he said, according to AFP.

Pushed on whether he thought Trump would indeed move the embassy, Erekat added, "I don't think they will do it."

"The United States at the end of the day is a country of institutions, and they are guided by their national interests," he said.

Reports this week said the transition team for Trump is already looking into possible locations in Jerusalem for the U.S. Embassy.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said this week during a news conference in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, that a Trump decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem would be “tremendous.”

Meanwhile, Trump representatives said on Friday that the President-elect "remains firmly committed to" moving the embassy, but also added it was too soon to say when the move would take place.

Trump aide Jason Miller was quoted by Reuters as having told reported that more details on the expected move "might be a little be premature ... we don't have that yet."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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