While Jerusalem is planning celebrations, the Palestinians are preparing for violence ahead of Trump’s historic announcement on Jerusalem’s status.
The Palestinians and the Muslim world are widely condemning President Donald Trump’s pending announcement that the US officially recognizes Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Trump has already called Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab leaders on Tuesday to inform them of his historic decision.
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned the move, saying that “despite repeated words of advice and caution from all concerned and from global leaders, President Trump seems to be hell-bent on annihilating the chances of peace and destroying the stability and security of the entire region and beyond, provoking violence and playing into the hands of extremists and terrorists around the world.”
She further accused him of “willfully committing an act of the utmost folly which is not only illegal, but also designed to inflame religious and spiritual sentiments and raise the specter of sectarianism and religious strife.”
The US recognition of Jerusalem “simultaneously emboldens the most aggressive, hardline and warmongering elements in Israel to guarantee the destruction of the two-state solution,” she asserted.
Ashrawi called on Trump to rescind “this disastrous decision before it is too late.”
Hamas said that relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem “breaks red lines.” Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic terror group, said Tuesday that any decision by the Trump administration to recognize the city as Israel’s capital would be “igniting the spark of rage against the occupation.”
‘Historical and Current Reality’
US officials say Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Wednesday and instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
The officials said that recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be an acknowledgement of “historical and current reality” rather than a political statement. They noted that almost all of Israel’s government agencies and the Israeli parliament are located in Jerusalem, rather than in Tel Aviv, where the US currently maintains its embassy.
Moving the embassy, a campaign pledge that Trump has insisted he must fulfill, will not happen immediately, they added, considering the logistics.
Palestinian groups have threatened widespread protests and violence if Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or advances plans to move the embassy.
The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency), the Israel Police and other Israeli security forces convened this week to assess the situation and prepare for potential Palestinian riots and terror attacks.
Israeli Security Well-Prepared
Commenting on the possibility of Palestinian violence, former Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon told IDF Radio that while Israel must be prepared, such a threat should not dissuade Trump from moving ahead with the historic announcement.
“The Arabs opposed Israel’s announcement of independence, so we should have ceded the announcement?” he asked rhetorically.
Jerusalem Mayot Nir Barkat told IDF Radio on Wednesday that Jerusalem is preparing for celebrations and that Israeli security forces are well prepared to contend with any threat.
By: United with Israel Staff and AP
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