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Abbas: “Jerusalem is the gate to peace… only when it will be the capital of the State of Palestine, and …it is, God forbid, the gate to war, fear, and the lack of security and stability if it is not”

Official PA TV, special broadcast for the Al-Azhar Conference in Cairo, on US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “After [the US] has stood unequivocally alongside the occupation and imposed a reality upon us that leaves us no choice but to turn to all of the other options available to us to defend our rights, we will turn to all of the options – but we will not turn to terror and violence. Indeed violence and terror are rejected [by] all states of the world and us, but we have our other means through which we will turn to receive our rights, with all of these options – [to turn] back to our nation’s public so they will fulfill their role in defending Jerusalem, in addition to internationalizing the conflict with the occupation, and continuing to join the international organizations and alliances as an authentic right of the State of Palestine. This is something that we have actually begun working on, in coordination with our brothers and friends in the international arena, to all of whom we are turning with thanks and appreciation for their stance and support of our just cause. We promise you, dear people, that we will not stop fighting to defend our right, our land, our Jerusalem, and our people until we reach the end of the Israeli occupation of our land, the establishment of the independent State of Palestine whose capital is East Jerusalem, in its full borders, and a just solution to the problem of the refugees according to [UN] Resolution 194, and according to the Arab peace initiative, the same blessed initiative that was published at the Beirut Summit in 2002…

[US] President [Donald] Trump’s decision does not give Israel any legitimacy in Jerusalem and does not give the occupation a right to its land or its skies. This Jerusalem has always been a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic, and Christian city. And it is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, and without it there cannot be peace in the region nor in the entire world – as long as Jerusalem is not liberated in all of its borders that we want from the Israeli occupation. Jerusalem is the gate to peace for everyone only when it will be the capital of the State of Palestine, and it is also the gate to war if it is not already- it is, God forbid, the gate to war, fear, and the lack of security and stability if it is not [the capital of Palestine]. It is the gate to war and peace and Mr. Trump must decide.”

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.

UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."