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Abbas Doesn't Expect Trump Will Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Threatens Response if He Does

Palestinian president tells Israelis he intends to attend peace conference in Paris, which Netanyahu is boycotting. Netanyahu to ambassadors: Prevent another UN resolution.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas does not believe that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, he told representatives of the left-wing Meretz party on Tuesday, according to a source present at the meeting.
Abbas' remarks come despite repeated statements by Trump and his advisors during the presidential campaign and after the election that the embassy would be located. Abbas also said he intends to take part in the peace conference to be held in Paris on January 15, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to boycott.
"We are acting with patience and restraint in the face of president-elect Trump's statements," the source at the meeting quoted Abbas as saying. "We understand that things that are said during a campaign do not necessarily reflect the reality of his term. I do not believe that he will move the embassy to Jerusalem. Even he understands that this is a step with irreversible and broad significance beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Abbas told the Meretz delegation that if Trump does move the embassy to Jerusalem in the end, the Palestinians will take steps in response. He however did not say what steps they would take, said the source.
The meeting with Meretz representatives, headed by the party's secretary general, Moshe (Mossi) Raz, was part of a series of meetings Abbas has been holding over the past 10 days with Israelis, both those in the political system and outside it, who support a two-state solution the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A few days ago, Abbas met with a delegation of former Knesset members and on Thursday he will meet with representatives of a number of Israeli peace organizations.
Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the PLO, last week said that if the United States moves its embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians will demand that Arab countries expel U.S. ambassadors from their capitals. He also warned that the Palestinian will take steps against Israel, such as reducing security and economic coordination as well as consider backtracking on its recognition of Israel.
Abbas said at the meeting, the source said, that the United Nations Security Council resolution on the settlements is just the beginning, and expressed hope that the peace conference in Paris will adopt adopt further decisions.
Abbas said that the next step for the Palestinians is achieving recognition of Palestine by a number of Western countries, as well as an attempt to be recognized as a full member-nation in the United Nations General Assembly through a vote in the Security Council.
"Resolution 2334 is a praiseworthy international declaration in the direction of ending the occupation and settlement enterprise," said Abbas at the meeting with Meretz.
"I looked at the resolution and I don't find anything against Israel in it, only against the settlements and illegal outposts," he said. "The next step is implementing the decision, and I hope that the means of acting for this goal will become clear at the Paris peace conference, which I will attend.
"I was disappointed to hear that Prime Minister Netanyahu chose not to [attend]," Abbas said.
Netanyahu to ambassadors: Prevent another UN resolution
Netanyahu said Tuesday that although the Paris peace conference is a futile effort, there are signs that various groups will try to turn decisions made there into UN Security Council resolutions. Then, he said, it will no longer be fruitless.
"We have quite a few signs that this is the plan," he told Israeli ambassadors in Europe during a conference held at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. "We need to prevent another UN resolution and a decision by the Quartet. This must be your main effort during the next two weeks."

Barak Ravid

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.762870

Schermata 2017 01 04 alle 22.31.42

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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