US Embassy Relocation Prelude to ‘Deal of Century’: Palestinian MP
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Palestinian lawmaker and head of the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) International Foundation decried Washington’s decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Quds in May and described it as a prelude to “the deal of the century”.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Ahmad Abu Halabiya said the White House has repeatedly raised the issue of a peace deal it calls “the deal of the century” and appointed some officials to make arrangements for the deal to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
It seems that the relocation of the US embassy to the holy city of Quds is an overture to the US peace deal, he said, adding, however, that the Palestinian nation will not allow such a deal to be implemented.
Abu Halabiya, who is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, went on to say that Palestinians would never allow their land, sanctities and rights to be overlooked.
He also called on all Muslims to support Palestinians against Zionist and US plots.
US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Friday said the United States is planning to open its embassy in Quds in May.
“We are excited about taking this historic step, and look forward with anticipation to the May opening,” she said.
Earlier, an official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said most embassy staff will remain in Tel Aviv.
“Come May, we’re moving the ambassador and a small team to Arnona,” the compound that currently houses the consular operations of the US Consulate General in Quds, the official said.
“What will happen by May, is a sign will be put up in Arnona identifying the facility as the US Embassy,” the official added.
Another US official, also requesting anonymity, added that a new embassy building will be later constructed in another location in Quds.
The State Department spokeswoman said the search for a permanent site had already begun.
US President Donald Trump on December 6 defied global warnings and said Washington formally recognized Quds as the capital of Israel and would begin the process of moving its embassy to the occupied city, breaking with decades of American policy.
His decision infuriated the Palestinians, who declared that Washington could no longer play a role as lead mediator in the Middle East peace process. It also sparked outrage across the Muslim world and even Washington’s Arab allies.
The United Nations General Assembly on December 21 overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Quds as the Israeli capital.
The 193-nation assembly adopted the resolution by a decisive vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions.