Islamic Jihad Envoy Urges Islamic Unity to Counter US Quds Move

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The representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement said unity among Muslims worldwide is the only way to counter the planned move by the US to relocate its embassy in occupied Palestine from Tel Aviv to Quds (Jerusalem).

Speaking at a press conference at the Tasnim News Agency in Tehran on Tuesday, Nasser Abu Sharif regretted the existence of discord and differences in the Islamic Ummah (community), saying it emboldened US President Donald Trump to announce his decision on recognition of Quds as the Israeli regime’s capital without worrying about reactions from Muslims and Arabs.

“Today, the solution for Palestine to exit this situation lies in the unity of the Islamic and Arab Ummah,” he said.

Abu Sharif also deplored Arab countries for their muted response to the announcement, saying some of them are dictatorships that need US support for survival and that is why they adopted policies that helped Trump in making such a move.

Elsewhere, he warned that the embassy relocation plan is a prelude to other US plots against Palestine, including those regarding Palestinian refugees, Judaization of Quds, and expansion of Israeli settlements.

Abu Sharif reiterated that Quds in its entirety is the capital of the Palestinian state.

He also referred to Israel as an occupying regime that has usurped Palestine, and said, “In our view, normalization of ties by the Zionist regime … (under any pretext) is treason in all its forms.”

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.

However, Washington insist on going ahead with its provocative move.

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, said 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.

According to another US officials, the new US embassy in Quds would open on May 14 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.

 A senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official slammed the announcement, saying Washington’s decision to open its embassy in May to coincide with Nakba Day “is a provocation to Arabs.”

“The American administration’s decisions to recognize Quds as Israel’s capital and choose the Palestinian people’s Nakba as the date for this step is a blatant violation of international law,” he said.

Erekat added that the move will result in “the destruction of the two state option, as well as a blatant provocation to all Arabs and Muslims.”

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