ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Hanegbi: Palestinians can’t stop US embassy move

Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) says the Palestinians have no way to block incoming US President Donald Trump from moving his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

“What can they do? What can they do?” he says in a briefing to reporters in Jerusalem. “There are not going to be any consequences.”

Trump — who takes office Friday — has pledged to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Israeli Minister Tzachi Hanegbi arrives to the weekly government conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, December 4, 2016. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Minister Tzachi Hanegbi arrives at the weekly government conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, December 4, 2016. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said such a move would have consequences as it was a “red line” whose crossing would ruin hopes for a two-state solution.

Among the threats Abbas has made is that his government could reverse its recognition of Israel, but Hanegbi said that would be suicidal.

Others have suggested it could lead a new Palestinian intifada — or violent uprising.

“This is not a threat. This is shooting themselves in the head,” Hanegbi says in English.

“I don’t think Abu Mazen has an interest to open an intifada, I don’t think the Palestinians would like another intifada,” he adds, referring to Abbas by his Arabic nickname.

— AFP

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