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‘Moving US embassy to Jerusalem would ignite regional upheaval’

By JT - Dec 07,2017 - Last updated at Dec 07,2017

Palestinians watch a televised broadcast of US President Donald Trump delivering an address, in the West Bank city of Nablus, on Wednesday (Reuters photo)

AMMAN — Political parties and civil society organisations on Wednesday warned against the consequences of President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem as scores of Jordanians protested the move in front of the US embassy in Abdoun around midnight, according to local reports.

 The protesters chanted anti-Trump slogans and praised the struggle of the Palestinian people. 

With their warnings made earlier Wednesday before Trump made his announcement on recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital, political parties and NGOs said that any change to Jerusalem's long-lasting status quo would ignite regional unrest and upheaval and the anger of Arabs, Muslims and Christians and would pose risky threats to the already-troubled peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis.

The Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs stressed that the idea of moving the embassy is a "waste of time" and will obstruct efforts aimed at finding a solution to the long-running Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The committee said that the step would have a serious negative impact on the Arab and Islamic relations with Washington.

"The US will lose its credibility and will no longer be an acceptable side as a peace supporter between the Palestinians and the Israelis, because it will violate the international law that considers Jerusalem as occupied territories," the committee added. 

Also on Wednesday, the Jordan Social Democratic Party looked at the decision as a shift of the US's stance from being a supporter, ally and protector to Israel to being part of the occupation.

In a statement to The Jordan Times, the party said that the decision was "a declaration of war on Palestine and Jordan", especially that the Kingdom is custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in the city.

The civil society coordinating coalition in Jordan, HIMAM, described the move as a clear violation against Palestinian rights, and a provocative challenge to the feelings of Arabs, Muslims and Christians, according to a statement from the coalition.

The Islamic Brotherhood Association denounced Trump's decision, saying it would only increase Muslims' firmness on their rights in Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem which  is a "highly valued symbol for all Muslims in the world", Petra reported.

For the Jerusalem Cultural Forum, Trump's decision was "anti-Jordanian",

The forum said in a statement to The Jordan Times that Trump, since his inauguration, "has been trying to blackmail Arabs by threatening to relocate the embassy".

"Such a decision will not change the reality that Palestine including East and West Jerusalem are Arab lands," the forum added.

The Jordan Islamic Scholars League denounced the president's intention to relocate the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem.

The league stressed that the existence of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Occupied Jerusalem makes its transformation into a Jewish city or a political capital for the Jews "just realistically impossible".

The league said that such a decision was an irreverence of the international laws and conventions and the regional agreements under which Jerusalem is an occupied city.

Also on Wednesday, the Jordan Evangelical Council, which consists of the Assemblies of God Church Jordan, the Jordan Baptist Convention, the C&MA Church of the Nazarene, and the Evangelical Free Church, called upon the US administration to refrain from taking any steps regarding the status of Jerusalem in isolation of comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. 


"Recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would plunge the region into the abyss of uncalculated risks and ignite violence in an already war torn region and may well expose Christians in this region to uncontrollable dangers," the council said in a statement.

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