Embassy Move Stirs Palestinian Opposition, Prayers

RAMALLAH (AP/Hamodia) -

An official says Palestinian leaders are calling for mosque and church prayers “from Pakistan to Tehran, from Lebanon to Oman” this weekend to protest the incoming Trump administration’s plan to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim.

Mohammed Ishtayeh, an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said Tuesday that the Palestinians were told by “American circles and diplomatic friends” that Trump might reaffirm the plan during his Jan. 20 inaugural speech.

Ishtayeh says an embassy move would mean “the end of the two-state solution” to the conflict and would violate a global consensus.

Meanwhile, the president-elect appears undeterred by such opposition. The new administration says it plans to move the embassy regardless of criticism from Arab nations, CNN reported Monday.

According to the report, President-elect Donald Trump’s team has informed regional allies of the plans.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to Trump urging him to reconsider the move.

“The president asked the American president-elect to not take this step [moving the embassy], as it will have destructive consequences on the peace process, the two-state solution and the safety and security of the region,” official PA news site Wafa reported on Monday, paraphrasing Abbas’s letter.

On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a group of reporters on a state visit to Azerbaijan in mid-December that Trump’s relocation idea is “great.”