Jerusalem’s mayor reminds President-elect of promise to relocate US Embassy
The newly-elected president of the US had made several pro-Israel statements during his election campaign.
“I am confident that you will continue to empower our city by reaffirming its sovereignty and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem,” Mayor Nir Barkat said in a congratulatory letter sent on Wednesday.
Trump had made several pro-Israel statements during his election campaign in a September meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
This includes recognising a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu congratulated Trump and said he looked forward to working together to “advance security, stability and peace in our region.
“The Palestinian people are very worried by the results of the American elections, especially after they heard Trump’s statements during his campaign,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said
Right-wing Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett was blunter: “the era of a Palestinian state is over.
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country,” he said in his congratulatory letter to Trump.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Trump to pick up from where his predecessors left off on Middle East policy and work towards implementing a two-state solution.
He said that the Palestinian government would “deal with any president elected by the American people” as long as it leads to achieving a permanent peace.
Past U.S. presidential candidates, including former President George W. Bush, have made similar promises about Jerusalem as Trump, but they never followed through upon them.
While the Israeli government sits in Jerusalem and insists that the city is its “eternal, undivided capital,” the rest of the world does not accept that position, and foreign embassies are located in or near Tel Aviv.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and effectively annexed shortly afterward, to be the capital of their future state.
Sami Zuhri, spokesman for the extremist Hamas movement in Gaza, said in a statement that U.S. policy was biased towards Israel and that “the Palestinian people don’t really count on any changes”.
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