The Palestinians on Sunday slammed Israel’s plan to build 300,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem, while vowing to consider a comprehensive review of the peace process. The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement that the Israeli plan is “part of Israel’s colonial and expansionist projects” that are implemented by the Israeli government encouraged by the latest move by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Xinhua reported. The ministry held Trump “fully responsible” for any new measures taken by Israel against the Palestinian people, their land and holy sites. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Sunday also warned of possible repercussions of Israel’s “Greater Jerusalem” plan that seeks to connect more settlements geographically and cut off West Bank’s contiguity. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party said on Sunday that Fatah’s Central Council will consider “a comprehensive review of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process” at an upcoming meeting. Azzam Al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s executive committee, told the Voice of Palestine that the Palestinian leadership is going to review its ties with Israel, due to the latter’s failure to uphold its obligations under international law. He added that the Palestinians will take further diplomatic efforts at the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council and even the International Criminal Court, in response to the US move on Jerusalem.
Trump announced on December 6 to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered to move the US embassy in Israel to the disputed holy city, revered by Muslims, Jews and Christians. Israel has claimed the whole city of Jerusalem as its eternal capital, while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since the 1967 war, as the capital of their future independent state.
This move has sparked widespread protests from Arab and Islamic countries across the world, and violent clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in the past weeks. In a major rebuttal to the US, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Thursday to reject the US recent move on Jerusalem, demanding all member states comply with UN Security Council’s resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem.