Abbas warns Trump: Moving the embassy is a provocation

PA chairman tells incoming President that moving the American embassy to Jerusalem is a “provocation that would harm the peace process”.

Dalit Halevi,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday warned incoming President Donald Trump that moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would be a “provocation that would harm the peace process”.

"We hope he will not move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, because Jerusalem from the perspective of Israel is a united city, and this is not true and is not valid, and therefore moving the embassy would thwart any future progress and will harm the peace process,” Abbas said at a meeting of the PA parliament in Ramallah.

“Therefore,” he continued, “we hope that he will stop the embassy move and will start negotiations on the basis of the decisions of international institutions and Resolution 2334 of the UN Security Council and the Paris conference, and after that each side will know its boundaries.

“We recognize our borders based on the 1967 lines, including east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine... Moving the [American] embassy is not only a provocation, but in fact is more than a provocation and will harm the entire peace process,” warned Abbas.

The PA chairman’s warning is the latest in a series of warnings he and other PA officials have issued in the wake of Trump’s plan to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Two weeks ago, Abbas wrote Trump a letter in which he warned the President-elect against moving the American embassy, saying that such a move would be crossing a "red line" and could jeopardize peace prospects.

Last week the PA chairman warned of “serious implications” if the embassy is moved, saying, “Moving the embassy will have serious consequences not only for the Palestinian people, but also for the legitimacy of the entire international struggle against the occupation.”

And, last Friday, he appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin and asked him to intervene in order to stop the United States from moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) spoke with reporters on Monday regarding the dire warnings of violence and regional destabilization made by senior PA leaders, mocking them as empty threats.

"What can they do? What can they do? There are not going to be any consequences," he said.