PLO's Erekat vows reprisal if US moves Israel embassy

Organization will cease recognizing Israel if US embassy relocates to Jerusalem, Saeb Erekat said

PLO's Erekat vows reprisal if US moves Israel embassy

World Bulletin / News Desk

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Saeb Erekat, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s executive committee, said the PLO would withdraw its recognition of Israel if the U.S. relocated its embassy there from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

During the interview, held in Erekat’s office in the West Bank city of Jericho (Ariha), the Palestinian official said: "The threat of the embassy relocation still exists. We haven’t received any reassurances it won’t be."

During his electoral campaign, newly-inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem despite a reluctance to do so by past administrations.

Israel now demands that the new U.S. president fulfill his campaign promise and has approved numerous new settlement units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Erekat, for his part, said the Palestinian leadership would take several retaliatory steps in the event that the embassy is moved -- including the withdrawal of diplomatic recognition of Israel and limiting its relations with the Jewish state on the security, political and economic levels.

"Relocation of the embassy essentially means the U.S. recognizes that occupied East Jerusalem is part of Israel," Erekat said.

"That’s why we can’t recognize states that occupy and confiscate our land… we will have to take fateful decisions," he added. 

The Palestinian official went on to assert that Israel was working to undermine the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) and limit its role in managing Palestinian affairs.

Erekat stressed, however, that that the PA was established with the ultimate aim of ushering in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

In the event that the PA is "dissolved or destroyed", Erekat said the Palestinian National Council would act as a Palestinian parliament while the PLO’s executive committee would serve as the occupied state’s government.

"Our plan also includes heading to the UN General Assembly to demand the suspension of Israel’s membership until it complies with international law," he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Şubat 2017, 15:24