OIC summit in Istanbul should recognize Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital: Adnan al-Husayni
Sevil Erkuş - JERUSALEM
An emergency summit of Muslim-majority countries to be convened in Istanbul this week should declare Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine, a senior Palestinian official has said.
“We expect the [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] OIC to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. This will be an answer to [U.S. President Donald] Trump. You know that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine but you need to declare it. It can have a very strong impact on the political level,” Adnan al-Husayni, the Jerusalem governor of Palestinian Authority, told the Hürriyet Daily News on Dec. 9.
The leaders of 57 Muslim-majority countries will meet on Dec. 13 in Istanbul at a summit initiated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, the rotating term president of the OIC, following the U.S.’s controversial recognition of the holy city as the capital of Israel and decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The OIC officially supports a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Al-Huseyni described Trump’s controversial decision as a “bomb thrown into the Middle East” that will destroy everything the peace process started.”
“Our position as Palestinians, as Arabs, as Muslims is that we see no a [Palestine] state without Jerusalem its capital. This has been very clear since the very beginning of the Oslo [Accords of 1993 and 1995],” he said.
“This man [Trump] has his own political problems: He wanted to show he is helpful for the Zionists and for the Israelis here. But it is our capacity to speak about the future of Jerusalem, not Trump,” al-Huseyni added, suggesting that Israelis “do not want peace.”
“[The U.S.] thinks Israel has strong control and can force the Palestinian people to accept things. But the Palestinian people will never accept. They know how to fight; they know how to confront,” he said.
‘Intifada to continue until a positive step’
The governor vowed that the third Intifada will continue until a “positive steps” are taken.
“In Jerusalem the Israeli police is very strong and they restrain everything they want. But the intifada will continue … The first and second intifada didn’t have any reason more [important] than Jerusalem. We will continue until something positive happens, such as withdrawing the decision,” he said.
PLO to change strategy after Trump move
Meanwhile, a senior member and spokesperson of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hanan Ashrawi, has underlined that the PLO is in a process of “changing strategy” following Trump’s move.
“We have to understand that there are new realities. Israel is stealing the land, destroying the two-state solution. The U.S. has become an ally of Israel and a partner in crime with Israel,” Ashrawi told the Hürriyet Daily News.
“This is a move that destroys the chances of peace and also undermines the security and stability of the region. It shows a total disregard of Muslim rights and sentiments,” she said.
This new reality obliges the PLO to undertake reforms through consultations inside Palestine and with Arab countries, as well as all Muslim nations in the world, Ashrawi added.
“We’ll go to the International Criminal Court in a bid to bring Israel to account and curb Israeli violations. We as Palestinians have to join international conventions. We need to ask for the recognition of the Palestinian state as a full member of the U.N. with Jerusalem as its capital. We should also ask all countries to recognize this,” she said.
‘US no longer a mediator’
Ashrawi also stated that with Trump’s Jerusalem move Washington has lost its ability to be any kind of fair broker or participant in the peace process between Palestine and Israel.
“The so-called peace process is over. You cannot continue with this status quo. The U.S. has destroyed it. We need a more multilateral approach, we need more Arab and Islamic majority countries to be engaged. We need more applications to the U.N. Security Council to ensure full compliance with international law,” he said.
‘Relations with Israel to be re-defined’
The PLO’s spokesman also emphasized that the move will force the Palestinians to “re-define their relations with Israel.”
“We as Palestinians have to redefine our relations with Israel according to the new changes. They have destroyed and violated all agreements. So we cannot be held responsible for our commitments as Israel has not implemented its own,” Ashrawi said.