BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Palestinian officials said Tuesday that President Donald Trump had informed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call that he planned to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Opposition has been building in the Arab world and beyond to any move by Trump to either move the embassy or recognize the contested city as Israel’s capital.
A spokesperson for Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, was quoted by the official Palestinian news agency as saying Abbas told Trump that such a step would harm peace prospects and also threaten regional security.
The status of Jerusalem has long been a flashpoint. Israel claims the entire city as its capital; the Palestinians want the city’s eastern sector as the capital of any future Palestinian state.
Palestinians have threatened to cut off contacts with Washington if Trump makes unilateral decisions about Jerusalem’s status.
It has long been the consensus of the international community that the city’s future should be determined by negotiations. That is why foreign embassies are mainly located in Tel Aviv.
The Palestinian statement did not say if Trump relayed any timetable to Abbas when the two spoke earlier Tuesday.
Sharp warnings against any move to declare Jerusalem the Israeli capital or move the U.S. Embassy have come from Turkey, a NATO ally, and a number of Arab states.
Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally whose help the United States has sought in trying to forge a Mideast peace accord, has counseled against unilateral steps regarding Jerusalem, and European allies including France have also said such a step would heighten tensions.