President Trump Informs Palestinian Leader Abbas On Intentions to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem

President trump put a note in the Western Wall (Screen grab)
President Donald Trump told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he is moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, according to the official Palestinian Authority news agency.

Wafa, the official news agency of the PA, reported that Trump called Abbas to inform him about this intention.

“President Abbas warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, the Palestinian president’s spokesperson, said.

Abbas would work with the international community to prevent the move, the report said.

President Donald Trump and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas meet, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. (The White House)

An array of Muslim nations have warned Trump that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would damage U.S. ties with Muslims, and Palestinian officials have said it would kill efforts by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Israel’s government has encouraged Trump to make the move, while King Abdullah has lobbied Trump not to take the action. Jordan maintains some control over the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Trump had until December 1st to sign the waiver that delays the moving of the embassy. That waiver was not signed. The White House in a statement regarding the moving of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem said: “No action, though, will be taken on the waiver today.”

Professor Eugene Kontorovich (Northwestern Law)

Professor Eugene Kontorovich, a professor of law at Northwestern University said that if President Trump did not sign the waiver (as the statement suggests), no new waiver can be made since it was not issued “at the end” of last waiver period of Dec 1.

Kontorovich said that immediately there are no consequences but if the embassy is not moved by October 1st 2018, the State Department which overseas funds has to cut 50% of the funding.

There have been speculation that Trump will stop short of moving the embassy for now but instead immediately recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — a move that would no-doubt go against years of precedent and run  against the international consensus, that the Jerusalem should not be recognized as Israel’s capital.

Trump, who campaigned on a promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city as Israel’s capital, let lapse a Dec. 1 deadline to waive a 1995 law mandating the moving of the embassy.

On Monday, the White House would only say that “We will share a decision on the waiver in the coming days.”

 

 

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