The Palestinian Authority has issued dozens of threats against the planned move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, warning that such an act would bring war and an end to all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
According to Palestinian Media Watch, noting that the PA often resorts to threats of violence when it seeks to thwart political action by Israel or other governments, the PA statements were made via official channels and on social media, as well as several Palestinian Authority officials on separate occasions.
The official WAFA news agency said in a clip aired on January 17 on Palestinian television that “the peaceful line of Mahmoud Abbas is liable to be cut off by the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem. Then the [spilled] blood will be the responsibility of American President [Donald] Trump.”
Several Palestinian leaders have warned of a religious war should the US move its embassy.
Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Yusuf Ida’is “demanded that the sources of religious authority in Egypt, and particularly Al-Azhar and Dar Al-Ifta (Muslim religious institutions), speak about the danger of transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem. … He emphasized that the decision to transfer the embassy means the destruction of the region and strife, and that this is liable to push the region towards a religious war,” official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on Monday.
Last week, the PA mouthpiece reported, “Secretary-General of the [PA] Islamic-Christian Council [for Jerusalem and the Holy Places, Fatah Revolutionary Council member], and professor of international law Hanna Issa said … that this step will have disastrous consequences for the peace process, the two-state option, and the security and stability of the region, and will lead it into a religious war.”
Speaking on Saturday, the Palestinian Authority’s mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, stated that the potential embassy transfer is “an attack on Muslims worldwide.”
“The promise of the President-elect to transfer the embassy is not only an attack on the Palestinians, but rather on [all] the Arabs and Muslims. The Muslims and Arabs will not remain silent when they see the aggression realized at the moment of the transfer of the embassy to occupied Jerusalem,” Hussein was quoted by Al-Hayat al-Jadida as saying, according to the PMW translation.
Fatah official Abbas Zaki warned that moving the embassy would mean that the PA is freed from all past agreements signed with Israel:
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki emphasized that the Palestinian leadership will not allow the transfer of the American embassy, and will be absolved of the previous decisions and agreements. He also warned against turning Palestine into a war zone if the new American administration decides to transfer it. … He warned against the terrible dangers whose course cannot be predicted. Zaki emphasized that no power in the world can prevent the Palestinians, Muslims, and Christians as one from carrying out their national obligation to defend their occupied capital.
Posts on Fatah Facebook pages have called on the Arab world to unite around the Jerusalem issue and lamented the Arab infighting that has sidelined the Palestinian cause, PMW noted.
A cartoon reproduced on a Fatah Facebook page on January 10 shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a kippah on his head and a Star of David on his tie devouring the Dome of the Rock while Arabs are busy fighting each other. On the bottom of the Dome of the Rock is written “Jerusalem,” and on the cloud of dust the Arabs are raising is written: “The Arab state of affairs.”
PMW noted that the amount of threats has not been equaled since those of September-October 2015 intended to dissuade Israelis from visiting the Temple Mount. A wave of violence that started then, known as the “stabbing intifada,” claimed the lives of 43 Israelis and 269 Palestinians.