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Palestinians hope for settlement curb if peace talks resume

16 May 2017

Moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem would likely be seen as an unambiguous recognition of Israel's claims to complete territorial control, which could set off a political firestorm.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump is weighing how moving the embassy to Jerusalem - a pledge the Republican made during the his election campaign - would affect the peace process.

A senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official aware of the preparations for Trump's visit told Al-Monitor that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confident that he can convince Trump to stay away from any new peace process initiative based on the Arab initiative. "On the contrary, it would advance it by correcting an historical injustice and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel", the statement read.

The worldwide community does not recognize Israeli control over eastern Jerusalem, and after Israel's parliament in 1980 declared the city to be Israel's eternal and indivisible capital, the last few countries to have embassies in the city withdrew.

Trump's rise has now emboldened Israeli extremists to implement their illegal policies and further their occupational agenda by transferring the embassy, a move that Palestinian officials and prominent American politicians have cautioned against.

Netanyahu's office sent reporters a fact sheet of quotes on the prime minister's hope for a USA embassy in Jerusalem and had this to say about Powell: "The claims posted by a Fox News correspondent are false". He has yet to make any concrete moves toward carrying out that promise.

The Egyptian foreign minister highlighted the importance of the visit conducted by each of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah to Washington.

Abbas pointed toward a likely partnership while crediting Trump's "great negotiating ability".

President Donald Trump committed the United States Wednesday to helping Israel and the Palestinians reach peace, telling visiting Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas: "We will get it done".

Trump is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories on 22-23 May.

Trump has said he is committed to mediating a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli daily Haaretz described the conflicting comments as "the first public disagreement" between Netanyahu's government and the Trump administration.

In fact, that Oslo accord has allowed Israel to expand its illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and to continue its colonisation of Palestinian lands.

Brog says it's time to set the record straight on this and other myths about Israel.