US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas offered similar warnings to the incoming Trump administration over the weekend: Moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would ignite a violent uprising that no one would be able to control.
In an interview with CBS, Kerry, preparing to leave the State Department after engaging in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict intensely for four years, said the violent movement would extend beyond the West Bank.
“You’d have an explosion– an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region,” Kerry warned.
“The Arab world has enormous interest in the Haram al-Sharif, as it is called, the Temple Mount, the Dome [of the Rock], and it is a holy site for the Arab world.”
Aides to President-elect Donald Trump say he is interested in moving quickly to relocate America’s embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s practical seat of government and its declared “eternal and undivided” capital. The Palestinians insist that east Jerusalem, or al Quds, would have to be the capital of a sovereign state of Palestine under any two-state solution to the decades-old conflict.
“We heard a lot of statements relating to moving the US embassy, which we hope are not correct and will not be implemented, but if implemented then the peace process in the Middle East, and even peace in the world, will be in a crisis we will not be able to come out from,” Abbas said, according to an official Palestinian news agency, Wafa.
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SOURCE: Jerusalem Post, Michael Wilner