0449 GMT June 20, 2019
Clashes erupted in Gaza and the occupied West Bank earlier on Friday in a weekly protest against US President Donald Trump’s stance on Al-Quds, which has also angered Arab political and religious leaders across the region and dismayed European allies, Reuters wrote.
Palestinians want East Al-Quds — seized by Israel in 1967 and later annexed — as the capital of a future state.
Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian’s chief negotiator in peace talks that have been frozen since 2014, said the US move showed a “determination to violate international law, destroy the two-state solution and provoke the feelings of the Palestinian people as well as of all Arabs, Muslims and Christians around the globe”.
Erekat, who is also secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said: “Trump and his team have disqualified the US from being part of the solution between Israelis and Palestinians; rather, the world now sees that they are part of the problem.”
Trump announced in December that the United States would recognize Al-Quds as Israel’s capital, setting in motion the embassy move and contravening decades of policy by the international community.
A US official said the United States was expected to open its embassy to Israel in Al-Quds in May.
“This is an unacceptable step. Any unilateral move will not give legitimacy to anyone and will be an obstacle to any effort to create peace in the region,” said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas has rejected US-led Middle East peace efforts as “impossible” since Washington’s decision.
Abu Rdainah said the only way to achieve peace, security and stability was Abbas’s proposal — outlined in an address to the United Nations Security Council in New York on Tuesday — that an international conference should be held to kick-start the peace process, including a “multilateral mechanism” to oversee it.
In Gaza, a Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, said: “Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem (Al-Quds) is a declaration of war against the Arab and Muslim nation, and the US administration must reconsider its move.”
Palestinian health officials said at least 20 Palestinians, most of them in Gaza, have been killed in protests against Trump’s decision since the December 6 announcement.