Palestinians condemn Trump vow on Jerusalem as Israel's capital

The Palestinian foreign ministry issued a statement criticising Donald Trump as well as his Democrat rival in November’s election, Hillary Clinton, accusing her of favouring Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, shaking hands with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Trump Tower in New York USA on September 25, 2016. Mr Trump drew criticism from Palestinian leaders after saying he will recognise Jerusalem as Israel's 'undivided' capital if he became the next US president. Kobi Gideon, Handout from the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) via EPA
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, shaking hands with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Trump Tower in New York USA on September 25, 2016. Mr Trump drew criticism from Palestinian leaders after saying he will recognise Jerusalem as Israel's 'undivided' capital if he became the next US president. Kobi Gideon, Handout from the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) via EPA

RAMALLAH, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES // Palestinian leaders on Monday accused Donald Trump of abandoning any hope of a two-state solution after the Republican nominee said he would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital if he won the US presidential election.

Mr Trump pledged during a meeting with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that he would recognise Israel’s claim over east Jerusalem, which would break with decades of precedent and put Washington at odds with most UN member states.

“Trump’s statement shows disregard for international law [and] longstanding US foreign policy regarding the status of Jerusalem,” said Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

“Previous statements delivered by his adviser on Israel show a total abandonment of the two-state solution, international law and UN resolutions.”

Israel captured the eastern half of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day war and annexed it in 1980, declaring all of Jerusalem Israel’s unified capital.

The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised future state.

The Palestinian foreign ministry issued a statement criticising Mr Trump as well as his Democrat rival in November’s election, Hillary Clinton, accusing her of favouring Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.

“The state of Palestine will not serve as a bargaining chip for gaining the Jewish vote in the United States,” the ministry said.

After a meeting with Mr Netanyahu in New York, Mr Trump’s campaign said the candidate “acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people for over 3,000 years”.

“The United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing congressional mandate to recognise Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel,” it added.

The United States – and most other UN member countries – do not recognise Israel’s annexation and consider Jerusalem’s final status to be a key issue to be resolved in peace negotiations aimed at a two-state settlement.

The US congress passed a law in October 1995 calling for an undivided Jerusalem to be recognised as Israel’s capital and to authorise funding for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

But no US president – Democrat or Republican – has implemented the law, regarding it as an infringement on the executive branch’s authority over foreign policy.

* Agence France-Presse

Published: September 26, 2016 04:00 AM

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