Palestinians seek to rally leaders against Trump Jerusalem move

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. (Abbas Momani, AFP)
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. (Abbas Momani, AFP)

Ramallah, Palestinian Territories - Palestinian leaders were seeking on Sunday to rally diplomatic support to persuade US President Donald Trump not to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital after suggestions that he planned to do so.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was holding a series of phone calls with world leaders to "explain the dangers of any decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem or recognise (Jerusalem) as Israel's capital", Abbas's diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khalidi told AFP.

His calls so far have included those to Arab leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan told Abbas that an independent Palestinian state must have east Jerusalem as its capital, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

A threaten to peace

Abbas was also said to be seeking meetings of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League to discuss the issue.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and Palestinian Authority intelligence head Majed Farraj were making contacts in Washington, Khalidi said.

He said Abbas was warning "of the consequences of taking such a decision that will threaten the political process and peacemaking efforts".

Erekat said in a statement on Sunday that such recognition would "promote international anarchy and disrespect for global institutions", while the United States would "be disqualifying itself to play any role in any initiative towards achieving a just and lasting peace".

A new 'intifada'

Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, called on Saturday for a new "intifada" if Washington recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or moves its embassy to the disputed city.

Trump is set to decide by Monday whether to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a decision that would upturn long-standing policy and be at odds with other world powers.

Succession of waivers

Since 1995, it has been US law that Washington's embassy in Israel must be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in line with Israeli government wishes.

But every six months since the law was passed, a succession of US presidents has signed a waiver to hold off on a switch which would enrage Palestinians and their Arab supporters.

Trump has signed the waiver once after vowing to Jewish-American supporters that he would be the president to finally make the switch permanent.

The next deadline comes on Monday, and some reports in Washington suggest that Trump is planning a speech on the issue next week before Vice President Mike Pence heads to Jerusalem.

The White House has described reports that he may refuse to sign the waiver as premature - but sources told AFP they expect Trump to formally declare Jerusalem Israel's capital.

The 1967 Six-Day War

Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community.

Israel claims the entire city as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

The traditional US position has been that Jerusalem's future status must be negotiated by the two sides.

Trump's administration has been seeking ways to restart long-stalled peace efforts between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

There have been warnings that recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital or moving the embassy there outside of negotiations would severely harm remaining chances for a two-state solution to the conflict.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
46% - 6189 votes
It's four more years for Trump
54% - 7274 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.31
(+0.75)
ZAR/GBP
21.46
(-0.67)
ZAR/EUR
19.35
(+0.57)
ZAR/AUD
11.62
(-0.14)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.05)
Gold
1924.58
(+0.76)
Silver
25.03
(+1.22)
Platinum
887.00
(+2.00)
Brent Crude
43.05
(+1.28)
Palladium
2396.00
(+0.77)
All Share
55345.49
(+0.13)
Top 40
50905.12
(+0.11)
Financial 15
10138.60
(+1.83)
Industrial 25
74577.70
(-1.31)
Resource 10
54447.94
(+1.23)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo