Abbas warns of ‘ramifications’ if US embassy moved
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II to discuss “ramifications” if the US moves its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
Following the meeting which was held in Jordan’s capital Amman on Sunday, Abbas said that “a series of steps we’ll take if the US moves the embassy to Jerusalem” had been agreed upon.
Abbas stressed that relocating the embassy “is an important matter for the king and an important matter for us. There will be no alternative to coordinating and articulating action points with one another to fight any steps that, if acted upon, would have severe ramifications.”
He added that further coordination with Jordan was necessary ahead of Abdullah’s upcoming visit the US and Russia over the next few weeks.
“I hope the American administration will act on two levels, one, to not discuss moving the embassy to Jerusalem and second, for the administration to lead negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis with the aim of achieving a political settlement,” said Abbas, adding that “this is the best contribution the United States could make.”
Earlier in the day, the White House said that the US government was “at the very beginning stages of even discussing” the embassy relocation.
During his campaign, US President Donald Trump repeatedly said that if elected, he would not hesitate to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, which is regarded by Palestinians as their future capital. The controversial decision has evoked Palestinians’ bitter opposition.
Palestine slams new Israeli settlement plans
Earlier in the day, Israeli regime officials approved the construction of 566 new Israeli settler units in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
After the announcement was made, Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rideinh stressed that Tel Aviv’s decision directly defied a recent resolution by the UNSC against such illegal activities.
On December 23, the UNSC passed Resolution 2334 with 14 votes in favor and one abstention by the US. It condemned the establishment of settlements by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories as a “flagrant violation under international law,” which it said was “dangerously imperiling the viability” of peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Abu Rideinh called on the UNSC to abide by it own resolution and “to put an end to the extremist Israeli government policy that is seeking to destroy the two state solution.”
More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem al-Quds. The international community regards the settlements as illegal as they are built on private Palestinian lands. Israel has defied international calls for a halt to its settlement activities.