RAMALLAH. – President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday that with US President Donald Trump declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, he has chosen to disregard all international resolutions and bilateral agreements, preferring to ignore and contradict the international consensus expressed by many countries and leaders of the world, its spiritual leaders and regional organizations over the past few days on the issue of Jerusalem.
He said in a speech in response to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, “These measures are a reward to Israel’s violations of international resolutions and an encouragement for Israel to continue its policy of occupation, settlements, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.”
Abbas added, “These measures also serve extremist groups attempting to turn the conflict in our region into a religious war that is dragging the region, which is living critical situations in the midst of international conflicts and endless wars. This is what we have always warned of and we have rejected and fought.”
He said, “These measures, which are denounced and rejected, are a deliberate undermining of all efforts to achieve peace, and is a declaration of the withdrawal of the United States from playing the role which it has played over the past decades as a peace broker.” – WAFA
Following is an unofficial translation of Abbas’ speech:
“Our national cause is at a critical moment today, following the measures announced today by the US administration on Jerusalem.
“ The US administration has chosen to violate all international and bilateral resolutions and agreements, preferring to ignore and contradict the international consensus expressed by the positions of various countries, world leaders, spiritual leaders and regional organizations over the past few days on the subject of Jerusalem.
“These reprehensible measures constitute a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts and represent a declaration that the United States has withdrawn from playing the role it has played in the past decades in sponsoring the peace process.
“These measures also reward Israel for denying agreements and defying international resolutions, and encourage Israel to pursue the policy of occupation, settlement, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
“These measures also serve the extremist groups that are trying to transform the conflict in our region into a religious war, which is dragging the region that is already going through critical situations being in the midst of international conflicts and endless wars. This is what we have always warned of and affirmed our desire to reject and fight.
“During the past few days, we have been in close contact with many leaders of neighboring countries, reaffirming the unity of the Arab, Islamic and international position on the issue of Jerusalem and the rights of the Palestinian people and the requirements for achieving a just and comprehensive peace based on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on all of the territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital alongside Israel, and resolving the refugees issue in accordance with Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative.
“The leadership is keeping up-to-date on the developments of the situation and is in the process of formulating appropriate decisions and procedures in consultation with neighboring Arab and Muslim countries.
“This historic moment should serve as an additional incentive for all of us to accelerate and intensify efforts to end the division and restore Palestinian national unity to ensure the victory of our people in their struggle for freedom and independence.
“The coming days will witness a call for various Palestinian committees and bodies to convene in emergency meetings to follow up on the developments. We will call on the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization to hold an emergency session that all factions will be invited to in order to affirm the unified Palestinian national position and put all options before it.
“This is the holy land of Prophet Muhammad, the cradle of Jesus Christ and the burial site of Moses. We say that Jerusalem is the city of peace, the city of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first of the two Qibla, the second mosque and the third of the two Holy Mosques, and the city of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
“Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine, is bigger and more ancient for its Arabic identity to be altered with a measure or a decision. The identity of Jerusalem and its history will not be forged.
“US President Trump’s decision tonight will not change the reality of the city of Jerusalem, nor will it give any legitimacy to Israel in this regard, because it is an Arab Christian and Muslim city, the capital of the eternal state of Palestine.” – State of Palestine Embassy, Harare, Zimbabwe