Fatah spokesperson Ziad Khalil Abu Zayyad on Sunday warned against relocating the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying such a would “explode the situation” in the entire Middle East and North Africa region.
His warning came as a delegation of American congressmen, led by Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis, arrived in Israel for a visit aimed at discussing the move of the embassy.
Zayyad warned, according to the Ma’an news agency, that Congress “should understand that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will not only explode the situation in Palestine but the whole Middle East and North Africa region.”
He then suggested that the congressional delegation consult with its military and political consultants in the State Department, “(who have) stated several times in the past that such actions put American interests and presence in the region in danger.”
Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital was a central campaign promise of President Donald Trump.
Despite the campaign promises, however, things seem to have stalled. White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently told reporters that no decision has been made yet on the subject.
Trump himself appeared to back down a bit from his campaign pledge, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) last month that such a move would not be “easy”.
He said a decision on the matter will come “in the not-too-distant future”.
On Sunday, Rep. DeSantis clarified that Trump intends to stand by his campaign pledge to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
“The American people are excited to see the embassy move from Jerusalem after fifty years,” he said, adding that Israel’s leadership was unified in its support of the move.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is vehemently opposed to moving the embassy. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently promised a “political and diplomatic response” if Trump moves the embassy to Jerusalem.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat has said that moving the embassy to Jerusalem is parallel to recognizing Israel’s annexation of eastern Jerusalem.