TEL AVIV – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is waging a diplomatic campaign to bring world leaders together in an effort to prevent a formal declaration by President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Over the weekend, Abbas called at least eight Arab and world leaders, including Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, urging them to intervene on his behalf and warning that such a declaration would spell the end of the peace process.
According to Israeli media reports, a senior PA delegation also met with Trump’s senior advisor Jared Kushner at the White House on Friday to pass on the message that an embassy relocation would “kill the negotiations.”
Such a move would also mean that the Palestinians would no longer consider the US to be “an honest broker” for any future negotiations, Channel 10 News reported.
Abbas’ aides also warned on Friday that any provocation by the Trump administration would be met with violence.
The PA president’s senior advisor Mahmoud Habash said on Saturday that a declaration would amount to a “complete destruction of the peace process” and threatened that “the world will pay the price” for any changes to Jerusalem’s status quo.
The Arab League also slammed the move, saying it would lead to an uprising.
“Today we say very clearly that taking such action is not justified. … It will not serve peace or stability, but will fuel extremism and resort to violence,” Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement published on the Arab League’s website on Saturday.
“It only benefits one side; the Israeli government that is hostile to peace,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gaza-based terror group Hamas has warned that any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be deemed a “flagrant aggression” against the city and “a barefaced violation of international law” and would consequently be met with an “escalation of violence.”
“We warn against such a move and call on the Palestinian people to revive the intifada if these unjust decisions on Jerusalem are adopted,” Hamas said in a statement.
According to the Washington Post, Trump may use the declaration as a compromise should he choose to sign the biannual waiver postponing an embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He has until Monday to sign the waiver.
According to White House sources, Trump was “exasperated” at his aides’ lack of action regarding an embassy move.
“Trump seemed frustrated with pushback about the potential backlash among Palestinians and their supporters,” the report said.
The report also stated that the State Department has warned its embassies in the Middle East that they can expect unrest following an announcement by the president regarding the Tel Aviv embassy later this week.
Last week, ahead of a trip to Israel, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump “is actively considering when and how to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”