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Friday
Jan062017

Palestinians, Jordan Warn Trump over Proposed Move of Israel Embassy

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called on President-elect Donald Trump not to go forward with his plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“If he did this, then he would be putting the peace process in a critical situation that he will not get out of, not only in the Middle East but also all over the world," Abbas said in Bethlehem in the West Bank. "We call on you not to implement your statement on the ground or in your agenda because we consider it as an aggressive statement."

Jordan's government also issued a warning to Trump over his plans.

The United States, like most other countries with diplomatic representation in Israel, has its embassy in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem, which Israel claims as its capital and where its national government is headquartered.

Jews, Muslims and Christians all consider Jerusalem’s holy sites among the most important to their respective religions, and Palestinians have called for the eastern part of the city to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Like any issues around final borders and security arrangements between a Palestinian state and Israel, the status of Jerusalem has remain unresolved in the eyes of the international community.

Trump said during his presidential campaign that he would move the embassy to Jerusalem. He has since announced his intention to nominate attorney David Friedman, who also supports moving the embassy, as U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Abbas said moving the embassy would deny Palestinians’ hope that they would one day see East Jerusalem become the capital of a Palestinian state. He also invited Trump "to visit Bethlehem and to visit Palestine next year."

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