Trump Tells Abbas Embassy to Move to Yerushalayim

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President Donald Trump reportedly stated that the US embassy in Israel would be relocated to Yerushalayim during a slate of calls with Middle Eastern leaders today.

“The president [had] calls scheduled this morning” with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “There are likely other foreign leader calls that will take place today and we will keep you posted as those are confirmed,” she added, signaling a frantic round of telephone diplomacy amid fierce international opposition to any recognition of Israeli sovereignty over its capital.

In Ramallah, a PA official said the Trump-Abbas call had already taken place, Arutz Sheva reports.

Sources close to Abbas said that President Trump told the PA chairman that he intends to announce that the US embassy will be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “Trump informed the president on his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” the Wafa news agency reported.

Arutz Sheva reports that Abbas reportedly told Trump that he would not accept a Palestinian Arab state unless eastern Jerusalem was the capital of the new state, saying that the PA’s “firm” position is that “there is no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Trump missed a Dec. 4 deadline to announce a decision regarding the potential relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv.

Trump will make an announcement regarding the embassy “in the coming days,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told media representatives aboard Air Force One as the president returned from a trip to Utah.

Senior U.S. officials said Trump is expected to sign a waver postponing the relocation of the embassy, Reuters reported. Yet American officials have also stated that Trump is expected to make an announcement on Dec. 6 regarding U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Both the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) made threats ahead of the potential changes in U.S. policy towards Yerushalayim. Hamas called to “renew the Jerusalem intifada,” while PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s adviser, Mahmoud Habash, said that “the world will pay a price” for American recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Abbas’s diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, reiterated that sentiment Tuesday, telling The Associated Press, “If the Americans recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel….We will stop our contacts with them.”

{ Israel, wtih reporting by JNS}


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