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Abbas: Jerusalem is “a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic, and Christian city”

Official PA TV, broadcast of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey on Dec. 13, 2017

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “A hundred years have passed since this decision [the Balfour Declaration]. Now comes a different promise, which is given by [US President] Donald Trump to the Zionist movement in order to give it Jerusalem as an additional gift, as if he is giving one of the cities of the US as a gift… President Trump’s unilateral steps do not grant any legitimacy to Israel in Jerusalem. It is a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic, and Christian city, the eternal capital of Palestine. It is impossible to have a state of Palestine without Jerusalem being its capital. We won’t agree to that. There will not be peace in Jerusalem or in the world without it…  We have no doubt that these unilateral and misdirected steps will encourage the extremist and non-extremist groups to turn the struggle from a political struggle into a religious struggle. And then the world will bear the responsibility. As long as they want a religious struggle, it should bear the responsibility. This is what we have always warned it about and taken care to refuse. We ask a simple question: Who is the one that is setting the religious struggle in motion in the world? Who is the one who invented the terror organizations in the world? We are all asking and we all know the answer…"

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” In 1922, the League of Nations adopted this and made the British Mandate “responsible for putting into effect the declaration,” which led to the UN vote in 1947 and the establishment of the State of Israel.

US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the State Department to begin preparations to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations.