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Trump Plans to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Washington – President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in response to the U.N. resolution against the Israeli settlements in Palestine.

Trump expressed his intentions to visit Jerusalem next year, as the capital of Israel, according to an informed source at the Republican Party.

Trump was furious with the resolution after he was sure it won’t be passed. He had previously succeeded in convincing Egyptian President Abul Fattah Sisi to postpone the vote at the council.

The Obama administration said that the position is due to the effect of settlements on the efforts in the peace process in the Middle East.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said: “We therefore thought that we could not – in good conscience – veto a resolution that expressed concerns about the very trends that are eroding the foundation for a two-state solution.”

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters that the administration decided to take the course it did because “one of our grave concerns is the continued pace of settlement activity, which has accelerated in recent years.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could have avoided such an outcome – had he not allowed for and boasted about – increased settlement expansion on his watch.

“Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome today,” said Rhodes who is senior advisor and very close to Obama.

Rhodes said that settlement activity “accelerated considerably” since the U.S. vetoed a similar U.N. resolution in 2011, leading the U.S. to believe that taking the same course of action — absent ongoing peace talks — would not yield different results.

“In the absence of any meaningful peace process, as well as in the accelerated settlement activity,” he said, “we took the decision that we did today to abstain on the resolution.”

Rhodes added that Obama had been warning for years that the trend line of settlement activity was increasing Israel’s international isolation.

He rejected Israeli accusations that the U.S. colluded with the Palestinians to bring the resolution forward.

“We did not draft this resolution; we did not introduce this resolution. we made this decision when it came up for a veto,” he declared.

Former White House official Eliot Abrams said that the current democratic administration had made the peace process in the Middle East even more difficult.

Official at the Republican Party Joel Pollack predicted that the Trump administration will “avenge” the U.N. resolution and not just move the embassy to Jerusalem.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat’s information, Trump’s transition team received requests from Israeli supporters in the U.S. congress to stop funds given to Palestinian authorities and decrease U.S. yearly support for the U.N’s budget.

Meanwhile, the president-elect’s transition team was advised by several current and former U.S. diplomats of the consequences of the transfer.

According to the diplomats, if the move does actually take place, Palestinians have to respond, and it becomes very difficult for them at that point to pretend that a Washington-mediated peace process can continue.

U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said Friday that it was “extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding” that the Obama administration did not veto the United Nations Security Council resolution that calls for an end to Israeli settlements.

“I am strongly opposed to the U.N. putting pressure on Israel through one-sided resolutions. An abstention is not good enough. The Administration must veto this resolution,” Schumer had said in a statement.