Malak Hasan, based in Ramallah, has covered Palestinian-Israeli issues for more than five years.

  • Palestinians worry US embassy move will counter peace efforts, On: Sun, 22 Jan 2017

  • Israeli court rules to cut ties of Palestinian family in Jerusalem, On: Sun, 15 Jan 2017

  • Bethlehem, a special Christmas destination, On: Sun, 25 Dec 2016

  • UNESCO adopts resolution on al-Aqsa mosque, On: Sun, 23 Oct 2016

  • Political disputes postpone Palestinian council elections, On: Sun, 16 Oct 2016

  • Entrepreneurship offers hope to young Palestinians, On: Sun, 09 Oct 2016

  • Russia unlikely to bring Abbas, Netanyahu together, On: Sun, 18 Sep 2016

  • Israel to relocate illegal settlers to private Palestinian land, On: Sun, 28 Aug 2016

  • Israel lures East Jerusalem schools to abandon Palestinian syllabus, On: Sun, 21 Aug 2016

  • Israel hinders world athletes’ entry to West Bank, On: Sun, 31 Jul 2016

  • Birzeit festival immortalises Palestinian heritage, On: Sun, 24 Jul 2016

  • Renewed tensions at al-Aqsa mosque, On: Sun, 03 Jul 2016

  • Netanyahu’s vision of peace: Killing Palestinian statehood, On: Sun, 26 Jun 2016

  • Dheisheh refugee camp youth archive life in colours on grey walls, On: Sun, 19 Jun 2016

  • Lieberman’s return deepens gap between Palestinians and Israelis, On: Sun, 12 Jun 2016

  • Erekat: Peace and democracy, a recipe to defeat ISIS, On: Sun, 12 Jun 2016

  • Palestinians cling to French peace initiative , On: Sun, 29 May 2016

  • 68 years later, Palestinians bitterly remember , On: Sun, 15 May 2016

  • Israel builds yet another wall , On: Sun, 24 Apr 2016

  • Who holds the key to Christianity’s greatest shrine? Two Muslim families, On: Sun, 17 Apr 2016

  • Palestinian tile industry a cultural treasure , On: Fri, 25 Mar 2016

  • Palestinian calligrapher captures sovereignty through Quran, On: Fri, 25 Mar 2016

  • The Palestinians’ best options , On: Fri, 04 Mar 2016

  • Palestinian ‘homestays’ enrich visits to West Bank, On: Fri, 19 Feb 2016

  • Palestinian children embroiled in the violence, On: Fri, 05 Feb 2016

  • El-Hakawati theatre struggles to survive, On: Fri, 22 Jan 2016

  • Israel shuts down Palestinian radio stations , On: Fri, 11 Dec 2015

  • A circus with ‘a Palestinian identity’, On: Fri, 27 Nov 2015

  • Social media, another face of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict , On: Fri, 27 Nov 2015

  • At the mercy of Israel in East Jerusalem , On: Fri, 30 Oct 2015

  • Flaring West Bank violence could signal intifada , On: Fri, 16 Oct 2015

  • Israel’s Christian schools face discrimination, On: Fri, 09 Oct 2015

  • Palestinian flag flies at UN, Abbas drops pacts with Israel , On: Fri, 02 Oct 2015

  • Palestinians worry US embassy move will counter peace efforts

    Ex­perts agree that if Trump moves embassy, it would be last nail in coffin of two-state solution.

    Motorists driving past US embassy in Tel Aviv


    2017/01/22 Issue: 90 Page: 2



    Ramallah - US President Donald Trump has insisted that he is serious about his promise to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv, the metropolitan coastal city, to Jerusalem, the focus of Pal­estinian-Israeli tensions.

    The step is not new; many US presidential candidates have prom­ised during election campaigns to move the US embassy to Jerusalem but none carried out that commit­ment after arriving at the White House.

    The move, it is believed, would spark violence and tensions. It would be a clear contradiction of international consensus regarding the status of the holy city.

    Johnny Assi, an expert in inter­national law, said: “Capitals host embassies and other cities have consulates. Even though Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, the world doesn’t recognise the admin­istrative measures imposed in Jeru­salem by Israel.”

    The Palestinian leadership, Arab countries, Europeans and the just-departed Obama administra­tion have expressed concerns that Trump will implement the Jerusa­lem Embassy Act. It was passed by the US Congress in 1995 to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jeru­salem, no later than May 31st, 1999.

    US presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who made the same promise to move the em­bassy, invoked a waiver, saying a bilateral peace agreement between the two sides was the only way to determine Jerusalem’s final status.

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, during a news conference in Bethlehem, called on Trump not to move the embassy, which would hinder the peace pro­cess.

    “We heard President-elect Trump say this but we have not been in­formed of an official position yet,” Abbas said. “However, if he decides to move the embassy, it would be an illegal step that would ruin the two-state solution. If this happens, we will have a political and diplo­matic response.”

    Palestinian politicians and ex­perts agree that if Trump moves the embassy, it would not upend US foreign policy and be the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution, the only viable and just solution for both Palestinians and Israelis in the view of more than 70 foreign minis­ters who gathered January 15th for an international peace conference in Paris.

    “This is dangerous. Moving the embassy would counter all meas­ures and agreements reached be­fore. Going back to square one will not be easy for us,” said Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ad­nan Husseini.

    The embassy move would also challenge the Oslo accords, signed between the Palestinians and Israe­lis and which govern relations be­tween the two sides and leave per­manent issues such as the status of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, se­curity arrangements, international borders and the rights of Palestin­ian refugees to be resolved jointly.

    Tensions have been building following clashes in 2015 at Jeru­salem’s al-Aqsa mosque, one of Is­lam’s holiest sites, and increasing Israeli settler violence and intru­sion into the mosque yard, which they refer to as the Temple Mount.

    Assi said the embassy move would not calm the situation in Je­rusalem and might result in more tensions.

    “Israel’s occupation of the city of Jerusalem does not equal sov­ereignty. Jerusalem is an occupied territory since 1967. The reaction to the move might resemble that of the first intifada,” he said.

    The city of Jerusalem has always been a sensitive issue that made reaching a solution between the Palestinians and Israel extremely difficult. The Palestinians are ada­mant that East Jerusalem would have to eventually serve as the cap­ital of a sovereign state of Palestine under the two-state solution. Israel considers Jerusalem its declared undivided capital, which already serves as its seat of government.

    The city, however, is not recog­nised by almost any country as the capital of Israel. The US embassy has been in Tel Aviv — like other countries’ embassies — and to move it to Jerusalem would cause many problems, said Ahmad Rabaya, a resident of Ramallah.

    “To move the embassy is to rec­ognise that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, which means the United States will no longer be an accepted broker of peace,” Rabaya said. “It will be an official declaration of the failure of negotiations and that the Palestinians have no political, historical or religious rights in the city.”

    “For decades all we have known was tension, violence and injustice and Trump will only fuel the hatred and violence by denying our right in Jerusalem,” Rabaya concluded.

    Editors' Picks

    The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

    From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

    Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

    Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

    Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

    Senior Editor: John Hendel

    Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

    Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

    Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

    East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

    Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

    Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

    Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

    Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

    Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

    Regular Columnists

    Claude Salhani

    Yavuz Baydar

    Correspondents

    Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

    Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

    Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

    Thomas Seibert (Washington)

    Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi

    Designers

    Ibrahim Ben Bechir

    Hanen Jebali

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

    Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

    Tel 020 3667 7249

    Mohamed Al Mufti

    Marketing & Advertising Manager

    Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

    Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

    www.alarab.co.uk

    Al Arab Publishing House

    Kensington Centre

    177-179 Hammersmith Road

    London W6 8BS , UK

    Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

    Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

    Follow Us
    © The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved