The Palestinian Authority may consider “reversing recognition” of Israel if Donald Trump moves the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview released by the French daily Le Figaro on Friday.
“I wrote to president(-elect) Trump to ask him not to do it. Not only would this move deprive the United States of all legitimacy in playing a role in conflict resolution, it would also destroy the two-state solution,” Abbas was quoted as saying.
Trump – who takes office next Friday – has said he plans to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.
The move is bitterly opposed by Palestinians, who see it as a destructive and unilateral action and claim the status of the city is still contested.
The United States and most UN member states do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the city’s status is one of the thorniest issues of the decades-long Israeli-Arab conflict.
Israel says that a united Jerusalem is its capital supports Trump’s plan and has encouraged previous US presidents to take similar steps but to no avail.
If the embassy transfer takes place, “there would be several options for us, and we would discuss them with Arab countries,” Abbas said.
“Reversing our recognition of the State of Israel is one of them. But we hope that it doesn’t reach that point, and that, on the contrary, we will be able to work with the next American administration,” he added.
Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized one another under the 1993 Oslo Agreements. But the process which was supposed to deliver a lasting peace is moribund since the Palestinian Arabs launched two intifadas murdering over a thousand Israelis in terror attacks and in fact, the Second Intifada is often called the Oslo War by Israelis.
More than 70 countries meet in Paris on Sunday at a conference expected to reaffirm support for the “two-state solution” in which Palestinian and Israeli states are supposed to live side-by-side in peace and security.The Paris meeting “may be the last chance for implementing” the two-state solution, Abbas warned. Polls show that most Israelis do not consider it a viable option, afraid that the “West Bank” would become another Gaza, hostile to Israel and taken over by the Hamas terror organization.
On Monday, the Palestinian news agency Wafa said Abbas had written to Trump, warning an embassy move would have a “disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region.”