News ID: 273769
Published: 0203 GMT September 05, 2020

Palestine ‘victim of Trump electoral ambitions’: PLO official

Palestine ‘victim of Trump electoral ambitions’: PLO official

Palestinians slammed decisions’ by Serbia to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds and Kosovo to recognize Israel, suggesting they were more to bolster US President Donald Trump's reelection prospects in two months while victimizing Palestine.

"Palestine has become a victim of the electoral ambitions of President Trump, whose team would take any action, no matter how destructive for peace... to achieve his reelection" in November, tweeted Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), AFP reported.

"This, just like the UAE-Israel agreement (to normalize diplomatic ties), isn't about Middle East peace," he added.

"What else will Trump procure for Israel before November?" said senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi.

Serbia said on Friday it would move its embassy to Al-Quds from Tel Aviv and majority-Muslim Kosovo agreed to recognize Israel.

Those decisions came out of a White House-brokered agreement between the two Balkan archrivals and announced by Trump Friday to normalize economic relations two decades after they fought a bitter war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Serbia will become the first European country to transfer its embassy to Al-Quds, following Washington's recognition of city as Israel's “capital” almost three years ago.

Kosovo will also set up its Israel mission in Al-Quds and in exchange earn Israel's recognition, as it seeks further support for its 2008 declaration of independence and statehood.

In August, the United States brokered a deal for the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations with Israel, symbolically marked on Monday by the first commercial air flight between them.

The agreement, expected to be signed at a White House ceremony in coming weeks, would be Israel's first with a Persian Gulf nation, and the third with an Arab country after those it reached with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Israel seized control of East Al-Quds in 1967 and later annexed it in moves never recognized by the international community.

Israel considers the city its undivided capital, but Palestinians see the mostly Arab eastern part of Al-Quds, including the Old City with its holy sites, as the illegally occupied capital of their future state.

The United Nations and the European Union, Israel's top economic partner, say the city's final status must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians, and say that until then countries should not locate their embassies there.

But Trump in December 2017 recognized Al-Quds as Israel's capital and shifted the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.

The decision triggered Palestinian outrage and a diplomatic shockwave. So far only Guatemala has followed in his footsteps, also opening up its diplomatic mission in the holy city in May 2018.



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