Saturday, 9 December 2017

US decision on recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a "war declaration against Palestinians"

Hamas: US decision on Jerusalem is a war declaration

8 December, 2017

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya has said the US decision on recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a "war declaration against Palestinians", and called for a new "Intifada", or uprising.

Haniya said in a speech in Gaza City on Thursday that US President Donald Trump's recognition "killed" the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"This decision has killed the peace process, has killed the Oslo [accord], has killed the settlement process," he said.

"The US decision is an aggression, a declaration of war on us, on the best Muslim and Christian shrines in the heart of Palestine, Jerusalem."

"We should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy," Haniya said.

Hours after his speech, Palestinian protesters took to the streets of the occupied West Bank cities, including Ramallah, Hebron and Nablus, as well as in the Gaza Strip, to vent their frustration at the US decision.

Protests took place in West Bank and Gaza [Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]
Haniya stressed the fact that the Palestinians see Jerusalem as united and the capital of their future state.

"Jerusalem, all of Jerusalem, is ours," he said.

"We are here today at a critical point in the history of the Palestinian issue and the core of the issue is Jerusalem, a critical point in the history of the Arab and Muslim nations following the provocative decision, the unfair decision adopted by the US administration."

He called on all Palestinian factions to unite quickly "in order to have the strategy to confront the occupation and the US administration policies inside the Palestinian Territories".

"We urge, we ask and we stress the necessity of rearranging the Palestinian situation to confront this dangerous plot and to put our priorities clearly to face that provocative decision, that unfair decision," he said.

Ignoring warnings

Trump, ignoring warnings from the international community, announced on Wednesday that the US formally recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the city, breaking with decades of US policy.

On Thursday, Mustafa Barghouti, the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, speaking to Al Jazeera from Ramallah, said that Trump was "joining Israel in the war crimes and in confirming the annexation of the occupied Palestinian Territories".

"I hope that the Palestinian Authority will not accept to meet with this American team anymore," he said.

"Israel decided it wants everything. They want everything? Fine. We will also fight for everything," he said.

"We might be talking about a popular wide uprising but non-violent one, similar to the first intifada. That's what we need. Israelis should see the Palestinian resistance everywhere."

BREAKING: Palestine breaks off US formatted talks

8 December, 2017

JERUSALEM, Palestine - In a major turn of events, Palestine's UN envoy, Abdel Hafiz Nofal has just released a critical statement, reported by global media including TASS.

"Palestine will not negotiate with the US until US President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem is annulled", said Palestinian ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal.

In particular, Palestine will "oppose US participation in the negotiations in an eventual new format", he affirmed that "without a doubt". This leaves Russia as the remaining likely brokers of any forthcoming agreement. Under the heading 'Multi-vectored diplomacy', Russia has used its relationship with Israel to lure or bait Israel forward, providing it the belief that there is an alternative to being backed by the US.  

This effort to triangulate has had good results, and has been critical in minimizing Israel's role in the Syrian conflict, relegating it to logistic and medical support for FSA, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, while curtailing its ability to strike Syria directly, beyond a limited number of aerial attacks, with limited impact.

"The only condition is to annul the decision on Jerusalem," the diplomat said.

Nofal said that Palestine does not consider the US a mediator in the process of solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and is seeking new guarantors of the negotiating process.

This means that Oslo is all but dead. This will have profound repercussions moving forward, because it was the Oslo Agreement that bound the Palestinian side, and the Muslim world, to a two-state solution.

Interestingly, this frees up the entire Arab world and Iran. The issue of Palestine is one which, at least officially and on paper, all Arab countries and Iran agree on. This is a strong point of unity moving forward from a post-Syrian war discourse.

Israel has pushed this into being for some time, and has acted in bad faith since the 1993 agreement. They have continued their policy of constructing illegal settlements, and denying Palestinians critical access to Palestinian areas, health care, emergency services, etc.

"From our point of view, the US role as a mediator has lost its value," he said.

In effect, Palestine will no longer consider the US a broker or mediator in the fragile 'peace agreement', which is regularly violated by Israel, as the Zionist entity continues to expand its illegal settler colony program on the Palestine side of the post 1967 armistice.

He states his belief that the US is likely to reconsider its position on its illegal declaration on Jerusalem being the 'whole and undivided, capital of Israel'. Both the Oslo Accords and numerous UN resolutions, including at least one UNSC resolution are clear that East Jerusalem is to be the capital of a Palestinian state, under the two-state solution agreed to under the 1993 agreement, brokered by then US President Bill Clinton.

Barring that, Palestine will no longer continue formatted talks on the 'peace agreement', with the US, according to Abdel Hafiz Nofal.

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