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Palestinians unite over Trump's Jerusalem move

Palestinians have been demanding political reconciliation for many years [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 December, 2017

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Palestinian leaders from both Fatah and Hamas are seeking to mobilise international opposition to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Palestinian leaders sought on Sunday to rally diplomatic support to persuade US President Donald Trump not to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, following suggestions that he planned to do so.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was holding a series of phone calls with world leaders to "explain the dangers of any decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem or recognise (Jerusalem) as Israel's capital", Abbas's diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khalidi told AFP.

His calls so far have included those to Arab leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He also spoke to the leader of rival Palestinian faction Hamas, with the two sides agreeing to stage protests on Wednesday, a Hamas statement said.

Erdogan told Abbas that an independent Palestinian state must have east Jerusalem as its capital, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Abbas was also said to be seeking meetings of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League to discuss the issue.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and Palestinian Authority intelligence head Majed Farraj were making contacts in Washington, Khalidi said.

He said Abbas was warning "of the consequences of taking such a decision that will threaten the political process and peacemaking efforts".

Erekat said in a statement on Sunday that such recognition would "promote international anarchy and disrespect for global institutions", while the United States would "be disqualifying itself to play any role in any initiative towards achieving a just and lasting peace".

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, called Saturday for a new "intifada" if Washington recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or moves its embassy to the disputed city.

Abbas spoke to Hamas leader Ismail Haniya late Sunday, a Hamas statement said, with the two sides agreeing their opposition to any shift in US policy.

The rare call between the two comes as attempts at implementing a reconciliation deal have faltered in recent days.

They agreed to support marches "in every place" on Wednesday.

Trump is set to decide by Monday whether to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a decision that would upturn long-standing policy and be at odds with other world powers.

There have been warnings that recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital or moving the embassy there outside of negotiations would severely harm remaining chances for a two-state solution to the conflict.

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