Palestinians urge Middle East mosques to pray against Trump embassy move

Palestinian leaders on Tuesday called for prayers at mosques across the Middle East this week to protest against plans by Donald Trump to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

There have been warnings that moving the US embassy to the contested city and recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could inflame tensions across the region and sink what remains of peace efforts.

Mohammad Shtayyeh, a senior Palestinian official and Fatah central committee member who was speaking on behalf of the Palestinian leadership, said doing so would mean an “end to the two-state solution”.

He said the Palestinian leadership had been informed by diplomatic contacts that Mr Trump could call for the move in his inauguration speech on January 20.

Palestinian leaders are considering whether to withdraw their recognition of Israel if the move goes through, he said.

They have added the issue to the agenda of a meeting of foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on January 19 in Malaysia, he added.

Mr Shtayyeh called for prayers at mosques throughout the Middle East on Friday as well as for churches to ring bells in protest on Sunday.

“I think and we all think that moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a dangerous step that will have dangerous consequences for the political track for our people and for our future aspirations and for the Muslim, Arab, Christian countries and people all over the world,” said Mr Shtayyeh.

“We are not inciting violence. Ringing a church bell … is not a violent act. Calling for a prayer is not a violent act,” he said.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has written to Mr Trump urging him not to move the embassy.

The Palestinians regard Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel proclaims the entire city as its capital.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community.


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