New intifada, end of peace process if Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel capital, Palestinians say

The Embassy of the United States of American in Tel Aviv, Israel. June 14, 2016. Photo by Flash90

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Palestinian terror organization Hamas said it would incite a new intifada, or uprising, if the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Hamas on Saturday issued a statement calling on Palestinians to “incite an uprising in Jerusalem so that this conspiracy does not pass.”

“This decision would represent a U.S. assault on the city and give legitimacy to (Israel) over the city,” the statement also said.  “We call on the Palestinian people to stand as an impenetrable floodgate and a tall wall against this decision and renew the Jerusalem intifada.”

The statement is in response to reports that U.S. President Donald Trump will give a speech on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The White House has refused to confirm the reports. Other reports have said that in tandem, Trump will for the second time sign a waiver suspending for another six months a 1995 law that mandates moving the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Every president, including Trump in June, has signed the waiver every six months since the law’s passage.

The news of the Wednesday speech announcing U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was first reported in Axios.

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Friday — Dec. 1 — was ostensibly the deadline for Trump to sign the waiver of the 1995 law, but there was no sign that he had signed it. There have reportedly been instances in the past, however, when a president delayed until Monday signing a waiver that was due on Friday.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas adviser Mahmoud Habash said Saturday that a Trump recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would bring about the “complete destruction of the peace process,” Ynet reported.

He also said that “the world will pay the price” for any change in Jerusalem’s status.

The Palestinians claim eastern Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Palestinian Authority met on Friday with Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and presidential adviser Jared Kushner to warn the Trump Administration that any acknowledgement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would end the peace process, according to Israeli media reports.

On Wednesday, Israel’s Hadashot news reported that Trump was set to move the embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

“We have nothing to announce,” a White House official told JTA later on Wednesday.

Vice President Mike Pence told a pro-Israel event on Tuesday that Trump was “actively considering when and how” to move the embassy.

Trump had campaigned on moving the embassy but backpedaled once he assumed office after representations by Jordan’s King Abdullah, who argued that a move would be disruptive and dangerous. Abdullah was in Washington, D.C., last week meeting with government officials.