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Fatah official on US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital: “All the options are open,” if decision is not withdrawn it will be “open war” on Palestinians and the Arab world

Official PA TV, program Palestine This Morning, report from official PA TV studio in Gaza on the responses and protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and transfer the US embassy to it, interview with Fatah Supreme Leadership Council in the Southern Districts (the Gaza Strip) member Najah Aliwa

Fatah Supreme Leadership Council in the Southern Districts (the Gaza Strip) member Najah Aliwa: “The UN resolutions confirm that Jerusalem is an occupied city that is not under Israeli sovereignty. Our people has proven that the sovereignty on the ground is that of the Palestinian people. Who has forgotten the Palestinian uprising three or four months ago, when the Zionist authorities attempted to place electronic [metal detector] gates at the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque (see note below –Ed.)? The people rejected this, and stood [firm] without conceding. Despite all of the sacrifices – everything is trivial compared to Jerusalem. [The people] has proven that the sovereignty on the ground is of the Palestinian people, and therefore [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu removed the electronic gates and submitted to the will of the people. The people is proving that Jerusalem is Arab and Palestinian land, occupied land that is not under the sovereignty of the Israelis.”
Visual: Video is shown of violent protests at the border of the Gaza Strip on Dec. 10, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem. The protesters are seen with burning tires and lighting an Israeli flag on fire.

Official PA TV host: “Gaza is always at the heart of the events. It is not disconnected from the events in the West Bank, the occupied Interior (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel), and occupied Jerusalem. What happened in Jerusalem – [US President Donald] Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem [as] the capital of Israel – has ignited the Palestinian street in the Gaza Strip… What are the possible concerns? In other words, it is said that there may be new [Israeli] aggression against the Gaza Strip. Is something like this expected?”
Najah Aliwa: “Gaza is an inseparable part of the Palestinian territories. Gaza has paid a price, and it is paying, and it will pay a price. It has gotten used to being a card that the Israeli enemy… [uses as] a pressure card against the Palestinian leadership. Gaza is prepared to bear anything for Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a red line, as we have said, and there is no conceding on it, and we will not let anyone pressure the Palestinian leadership with this card – even if Gaza will be the victim, even if a fourth, fifth, and sixth war is forced on us. We have stood before three wars without any justification, no justification for the Zionist aggression on the Gaza Strip other than Israeli arrogance and Israeli boasting of power.” […]
Host: “Now that we have a unified national rank and a united Palestinian leadership, we are turning to many international circles. What are the political options that currently stand before the Palestinian leadership in dealing with Trump’s decision regarding the matter of Jerusalem?”
Najah Aliwa: “As we have said, the first political step that the Palestinian leadership has taken is boycotting and not receiving any responsible party from America, and not only [US] Vice President [Mike Pence]. Any American responsible party – political, diplomatic – the Palestinian leadership will not receive them, and will not ascribe any importance to them, because the mere meeting with them is recognition of this decision, and this is a politically and internationally rejected decision… Therefore we adhere to our right, and all of the options are open, as we have said.
The political and diplomatic options have already begun to work, and following them will come other steps – in coordination with and relying on our Arab expanse, with Allah’s help, and on the Arab depth of the Palestinian issue. The Islamic depth will also support this issue at the Organization of Islamic [ Cooperation] conference on Wednesday [Dec. 13, 2017]. There will be a united decision of the international community, and it will be passed from the Arab and Islamic states to the [UN] Security Council in order to make a decision to reject this [American] decision, and force the American administration to withdraw from the decision because if it does not withdraw from this decision, it will breach all of the international conventions and agreements.” […]
Host: “If the American administration will not withdraw from this decision, what can the results on the ground be?”
Najah Aliwa: “In this way it [the US] will declare an open war against the Palestinian people and Arab people. This decision, if [the US] adheres to it, is an open war. In this way they are cutting the line of peace in this region, in the entire region and not just from the Palestinian territories…
And as the proverb says: Whoever plays with fire is burned by it, and whoever ignites a fire must know how to put it out… I think that the one who made this decision and ignited a fire did not foresee the consequences that could follow this decision, and the war will be open, and all the options are open, and no one can foresee what will be in the end-”
Host: “We hope that they will withdraw from this decision-”
Najah Aliwa: “We hope so.”
Host: “And may Jerusalem remain the Palestinian Arab capital forever and always.”

US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump gave a speech formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and stating that he had instructed the State Department to begin preparations to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump concluded by stating that the US is still fully committed to the peace process in the Middle East. Following his speech, Trump signed the waiver to delay the transfer of the embassy, and apparently will continue to do so until preparations for the transfer have been completed.

The mention of “electronic [metal detector] gates at the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque” refers to Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount, including metal detectors at the entrances, following an attack there on July 14, 2017, in which 2 Israeli border police officers were murdered by 3 Israeli Arab terrorists. On July 24, 2017, Israel decided to remove the metal detectors and security cameras it had placed at the site. The PA continued to demand that all measures including inspections at the entrances be removed, and Palestinians continued to riot. On July 27, 2017, PA religious leaders declared that all Israeli measures had been removed.