Trump’s Jerusalem declaration: Palestinians outraged, Israel joyous

Trump's Jerusalem declaration: Palestinians outraged, Israel joyous

Trump’s Jerusalem declaration: Palestinians outraged, Israel joyous

outrage, declaring that the United States could no longer serve as Middle East peace broker.

President Mahmud Abbas called it “deplorable”.

“These deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace efforts,” Abbas said in a speech after Trump’s announcement. He said it amounted to “an announcement of US withdrawal from playing the role it has been playing in the past decade in sponsoring the peace process.” Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation who long served as the Palestinians’ top negotiator, said Trump had “destroyed the two-state solution”. “As a chief Palestinian negotiator, how can I sit with these people if they dictate on me the future of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital?” he said. 

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“I think tonight he is strengthening the forces of extremists in this region as no one has done before,” Erekat said, referring to Trump. Trump’s move upturns decades of precedent and runs counter to international consensus, with no other country currently taking the same stance. Jerusalem’s status is among the most difficult issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the US traditional position has been that it must be negotiated between the two sides. While Israel has long considered Jerusalem its capital, with the prime minister’s office and parliament building located there, countries have avoided recognising it as such to prevent damaging hopes for a two-state solution. The Palestinians see the eastern sector of the city as the capital of their future state.

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– ‘Focus of our hopes’ –

President Mahmud Abbas called it “deplorable”. “These deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace efforts,” Abbas said in a speech after Trump’s announcement. He said it amounted to “an announcement of US withdrawal from playing the role it has been playing in the past decade in sponsoring the peace process.” Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation who long served as the Palestinians’ top negotiator, said Trump had “destroyed the two-state solution”.

“As a chief Palestinian negotiator, how can I sit with these people if they dictate on me the future of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital?” he said. “I think tonight he is strengthening the forces of extremists in this region as no one has done before,” Erekat said, referring to Trump. Trump’s move upturns decades of precedent and runs counter to international consensus, with no other country currently taking the same stance.

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Jerusalem’s status is among the most difficult issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the US traditional position has been that it must be negotiated between the two sides. While Israel has long considered Jerusalem its capital, with the prime minister’s office and parliament building located there, countries have avoided recognising it as such to prevent damaging hopes for a two-state solution. The Palestinians see the eastern sector of the city as the capital of their future state. – ‘Focus of our hopes’ –

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