By Hani Hazaimeh
Moving any embassy to Jerusalem is a red line that will trigger unprecedented repercussions, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman, told Arab News on Tuesday.
US Vice President Mike Pence had reiterated that President Donald Trump was seriously considering moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“After decades of simply talking about it, the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Pence told thousands of pro-Israel activists and lobbyists on Sunday at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention in Washington, DC.
Commenting on Pence’s statements, Abu Rudeineh said the Palestinian presidency will deal with these remarks when they are made official.
“As far as we’re concerned… Trump hasn’t made any statements since he made it to the White House,” said Abu Rudeineh.
“However, President Abbas is due to visit Washington soon, and will convey Palestinian concerns to him over not only the embassy relocation, but also Israeli settlements, among other issues.”
He said Abbas would meet the US envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, who arrived in the Jordanian capital Amman late Tuesday.
Abu Rudeineh said Greenblatt’s attendance of the Arab Summit should be an opportunity for participants to present Arab views on the peace process.
“We want to see our independent state established on Palestinian soil with East Jerusalem as capital. This isn’t negotiable,” he said.
Regarding Israel’s ambitions to be given the opportunity to occupy a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council, Abu Rudeineh said Israel must not be rewarded for its intimidation of Palestinians and occupation of Palestinian lands.
“Israel must comply with the will of the international community and adhere to the several UN resolutions that have called for an end to its occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state,” he said.
“The Arabs were very generous when they presented the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, a golden opportunity that Israel failed to seize,” he added.
“We expect Arab leaders to stand in solidarity with the just Palestinian cause, as they’ve always done. We’re very pleased with the outcome of the Arab foreign ministers’ discussions during their preparatory meeting on Monday, in which they reiterated that the Palestinian cause is most pressing and needs to be addressed in order to secure regional and international stability and security.”
Abu Rudeineh said the Palestinian people will never forget the constant support of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and other countries that have been working relentlessly at an international level to defend Palestinian rights.
“Our pursuit of peace is unquestionable, but we’ll never compromise our rights. We’re extending our hand to any party that seeks to make peace prevail in our region, which if achieved, will bring prosperity to the area and end the suffering of millions,” he said.