Palestinian Muslim leaders have warned that the planned relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be “dangerous”.
In a Tuesday statement, the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem said such a move — promised by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump during his electoral campaign — would amount to Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The American stance [relocating the embassy] contradicts the international position that Jerusalem is still occupied,” the statement read.
“Transferring the embassy means cancelling the rights of Muslims and Christians in this blessed and holy city,” it added.
While Israel claimed the city as its “eternal capital” after occupying East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israel war, the international community does not recognize the claim and foreign embassies are currently located in Tel Aviv.
After a tumultuous relationship between outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speculation has mounted as to how Trump’s presidency will impact the relationship between the two longtime allies.
On Monday, Trump appointed his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as his senior advisor having previously suggested that Kushner could serve as Middle East envoy due to his links to Israel.