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‘Provocation to Arabs’: Palestine slams opening of US’ Jerusalem embassy on Israeli I-Day

The founding of Israel seven decades ago on May 14 1948 is mourned by Palestinians as the Nakba, or “catastrophe”.

world Updated: Feb 24, 2018 19:48 IST
AFP, Ramallah
US embassy Jerusalem,Palestine,Mahmoud Abbas
President of Palestine and Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a United Nations Security Council concerning meeting concerning issues in the Middle East, at UN headquarters.(AFP File Photo)

The Palestinian leadership on Friday slammed a US decision to open its embassy in Jerusalem in May, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence, as “a provocation to Arabs”.

The founding of Israel seven decades ago on May 14 1948 is mourned by Palestinians as the Nakba, or “catastrophe.”

“The American administration’s decisions to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and choose the Palestinian people’s Nakba as the date for this step is a blatant violation of international law,” Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) number two Saeb Erekat told AFP.

He said the result would be “the destruction of the two state option, as well as a blatant provocation to all Arabs and Muslims.”

Israel follows the Jewish lunar calendar and this year’s official independence celebration falls on April 19.

Israeli intelligence minister Israel Katz was quick to welcome the opening date.

“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump, the President of the US on his decision to transfer the US Embassy to our capital on Israel’s 70th Independence Day,” he wrote in English on his Twitter account.

“There is no greater gift than that! The most just and correct move. Thanks friend!”

US President Donald Trump in December broke with decades of policy in Washington by officially recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and pledging to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv.

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 18:41 IST