Palestinians have denounced a decision by the US to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds (Jerusalem) in May.
This move “directly and deliberately violates the identity and existence of the Palestinian people”, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority said in a statement on Saturday.
On Friday, Washington said it was ready to open the new embassy in al-Quds on May 14, the day the occupying Israeli entity was established and officially recognized by Washington in 1948.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) said the date for the relocation of the embassy was chosen “to hurt the feelings of the people in the Arab world”.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the step as “unacceptable”.
“Unilateral steps will not give legitimacy to anyone and will hinder efforts to provide peace in the region,” he added.
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (POL), said in a press statement that Trump and his team “were no longer part of the Israel-Palestine solution and had become part of the problem”.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has also strongly condemned the US move, describing it as “provocative” for all Muslim and Arab nations.
“The measure to relocate the US embassy concurrent with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), when hundreds of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland by Israeli regime forces back in 1948, is a naked [act of] aggression against the Palestinian nation,” the Hamas spokesman, Abdullatif al-Qanou, told Press TV in an exclusive interview in Gaza City on Saturday.
Qanou held the US administration and the Israeli regime “fully responsible for any repercussions of the recent unjust and racist decision against al-Quds” and criticized Washington’s hostile moves and schemes to “suffocate the Palestinian cause.”
“We are warning against a tremendous explosion in the Middle East region, which will target the occupying Israeli regime. We are calling on all Muslim nations to confront Israel and to stop such decisions,” the Hamas spokesman pointed out.
Palestinians to block implementation
Hazem Qassem, another Hamas spokesman, pointed to continued protests held in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip against the US decision on al-Quds and said the demonstrations indicate that the Palestinian nation will not allow the decision to be implemented.
Speaking to Al Jazeera from Ramallah, Mustafa Barghouti, former Palestinian information minister, said the decision meant "adding insult to injury".
"When they want to move the embassy exactly on the worst anniversary in the history of Palestinians, the anniversary not of the establishment of the Israeli entity but of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and the creation of the system of racial discrimination and apartheid ... this represents a very serious provocation to the Palestinian side," he said.
On 6 December 2017, US President Donald Trump officially recognized al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli entity, triggering outcry in the Arab world and protests in the Palestinians territories that killed dozens.
That same month, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on al-Quds by an overwhelming majority, calling on the US to withdraw its recognition of the city as Israeli regimeís capital.
A total of 128 members voted in favor of the al-Quds resolution, nine countries voted against and 35 others abstained.
At least 20 Palestinians have been killed in protests against the move since December 6, Palestinian health officials have said.