Palestinian officials say, Trump ‘destroyed’ the two-state solution

Written by Allison Deger | Published on: December 7, 2017
President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel this afternoon in a much anticipated speech at the White House, followed by condemnations from Palestinian leaders who said Trump is unfit to be a peace broker and effectively killed the two-state solution.  


President Donald Trump speaking at the White House in Washington DC in an announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.


“While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver,” Trump told reporters, “I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interest of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Trump called recognizing Jerusalem as the capital is a “a long overdue step,” adding, “it is also the right thing to do.”

The U.S. embassy will be relocated to Jerusalem, Trump said. “This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers and planners, so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace,” he explained.

Palestinian leaders renounced the move.

Speaking in Ramallah Saeb Erekat, a former senior Palestinian negotiator, told reporters, “I think President Trump tonight disqualified the United States of America to play any role in any peace process.”

“Unfortunately, president Trump just destroyed any possibility of a two-state [solution]. He has taken an action that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, this is in total contradiction of an agreement signed between Palestinian officials and Israelis,” he continued. 

Erekat did not indicate if  the Palestinians would not longer continue with Trump administration’s efforts to seek a peace deal.



Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List party released a statement, citing “ignorance and arrogance” on the part of Trump,
 
“Trump is not interested in the fate of Israelis, and certainly not in the fate of Palestinians. His speech this evening was a combination of ignorance and arrogance, with complete disregard for its implications. Today Trump threw a match on the Middle East, and the price will be paid by both nations. Trump’s United States officially announced today that it is part of the occupying power, and therefore cannot serve as a broker for talks between Israelis and Palestinians, in any sense. The Palestinian people, along with Israelis working toward peace, will continue their courageous struggle until the occupation ends and a true peace is established.”
 
In Washington the Arab American Institute President’s James Zogby said,
 
“Listening to President Trump’s announcement regarding Jerusalem was profoundly disturbing. It’s a devastating blow: to Muslims and Christians living under harsh Israeli rule in occupied Jerusalem; to Arab and Muslim sensitivities; and to U.S. relations with our Arab allies. It also damages U.S. leadership worldwide, since we have now broken ranks with the E.U. and the rest of the international community. Trump is playing with fire and the consequences will be grave. It was especially troubling to hear the President announcing measures that are bound to provoke and incite violence while at the same time absurdly preaching non-violence and peace.”
 
Conversely, Israeli leaders applauded the announced embassy move and defended it a means to advance peace.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said,
 
“The President’s decision is an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. I share President Trump’s commitment to advancing peace between Israel and all of our neighbors, including the Palestinians. And we will continue to work with the President and his team to make that dream of peace come true.”
 
President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement,
 
“The recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the relocation of all embassies to the city, is a landmark in the recognition of the right of the Jewish people to our land, and a milestone on our road to peace – peace for all the residents of Jerusalem, and the whole region.”