US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital will destroy peace process – Palestine & Arab League
“The world will pay the price” for any change in the status of Jerusalem, Mahmoud Habash, one of the top advisors to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Saturday. Habash, who was speaking in the presence of Abbas, added that the recognition of the city as the Israeli capital will lead to “complete destruction of the peace process,” as cited by Ynet News.
Also Saturday, Abbas spoke on the phone with Jordan's King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, asking the leaders to put pressure on US President Donald Trump to give up on his plans.
Israel views Jerusalem as its capital, despite the lack of international recognition for this claim, while the Palestinians believe that the eastern part of the city would become the future capital of their sovereign state. According to reports citing an unnamed senior US administration official, Trump may recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital as early as Wednesday, in order to compensate for further delays in fulfilling his campaign promise to relocate the US embassy to the city. But there have been no official comments from the White House on the issue.
On Saturday, Palestinian armed group Hamas has threatened “escalation” of the so-called “Jerusalem intifada” if Washington recognizes the city as the Israeli capital, The Times of Israel reported. The group labeled the possible US move a violation of international law and cover for a complete Jewish takeover of the city, urging the Palestinians to resist it by all means.
The “Jerusalem intifada” is a term used by some for the wave of stabbing, shooting and vehicle-ramming attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, which have seen around 50 people, including two Americans and a UK citizen, killed since late 2015. A total of 270 Palestinians, mainly attackers, died from the fire of Israeli security forces during the period.
The Arab League also warned Washington against the recognition of Jerusalem, calling the move one-sided and harmful to the peace process. “Today we say very clearly that taking such action is not justified ... It will not serve peace or stability, but will fuel extremism and resort to violence," Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement on the organization’s website Saturday. According to Aboul Gheit, the US move “only benefits one side; the Israeli government that is hostile to peace."