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January 9, 2017 6:13 am

Jordan, Palestinian Authority Warn Against US Embassy Relocation to Jerusalem

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The US Embassy in Tel Aviv. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv. Photo: Wiki Commons. – A top Jordanian government minister warned Thursday of “catastrophic” consequences if President-elect Donald Trump, following his inauguration, relocates the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the country’s capital in Jerusalem.

Mohammad Al Momani, Jordan’s minister of state for media affairs, told the Associated Press that such a move would have serious “implications on several levels, including the regional situation,” and that countries in the Middle East would likely “think about different things and steps they should take in order to stop this from happening.”

“It will definitely affect the bilateral relationship between countries in the region, including Jordan, and the parties that will be related to such a decision,” he said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has also warned Trump not to relocate the embassy, calling it an “aggressive statement” that would essentially end the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

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The incoming Trump administration has said that moving the US embassy “is a very big priority” and there has been vocal Republican support for the action, including a GOP-backed bill currently moving through the senate that would freeze congressional funding of the state department until the embassy is transferred.

Though the Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed by Congress in 1995, called for the relocation of the embassy, the law has never been implemented as each president since continuously exercised the provision of signing six-month waivers postponing the move due to “national security interests.”

The status of Jerusalem has been one of the core issues at play in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Though the city has been the capital of the Jewish state since its founding in 1948, Israel extended sovereignty over eastern parts of the city then under Jordan occupation, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Palestinians continue to claim eastern Jerusalem as their future capital and insist that the governance of the city must be determined during future negotiations.

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