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The New Arab

PLO will 'revoke recognition' of Israel if embassy moved

Donald Trump has promised to move the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 January, 2017

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Palestinian leadership intensifies calls for Donald Trump to reconsider embassy move after 'diplomatic friends' confirm that the US president-elect is serious about the relocation.
High ranking Palestinian officials have warned that the Palestinian Liberation Organisation will revoke its recognition of Israel if Donald Trump moves the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The PLO's recognition of Israel is one of the key facets of the stagnant Oslo Peace Accords.

"One of the measures we are considering seriously is the issue of mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel. [It] is not valid any more doing this [the embassy move]," senior Palestinian negotiator Mohammad Shtayyeh told reporters Tuesday.

Shtayyeh's warning comes amid increasing warnings of an "explosion of violence" if the US relocates its embassy in Israel.

It also follows a letter written by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Donald Trump that was disclosed on Monday, which told the incoming US president of the dangers the proposed embassy move will pose.

Abbas warned Trump that the embassy move "will likely have a disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region, since Israel's decision to annex East Jerusalem contradicts with international law".
The embassy move will likely have a disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region
- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
This week, the Palestinian Authority also called for protests in mosques and churches across the world to oppose the embassy move, "from Pakistan to Tehran, from Lebanon to Oman".

Israeli right-wingers are eagerly anticipating the Trump's inauguration later this month, with the expectation that the president-elect will be significantly more sympathetic to Israeli designs than his predecessor.

Moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will effectively give recognition to Israel's claim over the holy city, which was illegally annexed after the 1967 war.

Both Trump and his running mate Mike Pence have promised to relocate the embassy, however previous presidents have made similar pledges and not fulfilled them.

Nonetheless, the oft-repeated pledge by Trump has alarmed Palestinian officials, who say that the move will gravely endanger the peace process.

On Monday, CNN reported that sources close to Trump had confirmed that the president-elect was intending to go ahead with the embassy move.

When asked about his thoughts on Trump's team for the Palestine-Israel question, Shtayyeh expressed his lack of optimism for the future.

"The indications are negative," the negotiator said of Trump's new appointments. "If Trump moves the [US] embassy to Jerusalem that would be the end of the two-state solution. Trump would be giving away something that is not his to give."

He added that the PA has been warned by "American circles and diplomatic friends" that Trump may announce the embassy relocation during his inauguration.

In 1995, the US Congress passed legislation ordering that the US embassy in Israel be moved to Jerusalem. Every president since this time, however, has used a six-month waiver to avoid making the controversial move.

The current US administration under Barack Obama has done the same, with US Secretary of State John Kerry warning on Friday that the plan could cause "an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region".

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