Hamas leader has warned the new U.S. President
In a statement posted on the Hamas website on Sunday, Moussa Abu Marzouq said: “The relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will pose an increasing danger.”
A senior Hamas leader has warned the new U.S. President, Donald Trump, against plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying it would harm regional stability. Abu Marzouq slammed statements by Trump and his aides, saying they “neither serve stability in the region nor serve the U.S. itself”.
The new American president had pledged during his electoral campaign to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem despite reluctance to do so by past administrations -- Republican and Democrat alike.
While Israel claims the city as its "eternal capital" after occupying East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israel war, the international community does not recognize the claim and foreign embassies are currently located in Tel Aviv.
Earlier this month, Senate Republicans introduced legislation to relocate the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Trump’s inclinations on Palestine “would encourage Israelis to lean toward extremism,” warned Abu Marzouq, whose group Hamas rules the Gaza Strip.
Trump has accused the previous U.S. administration of former President Barack Obama of not being friendly enough to Israel.
Obama has been critical of Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, since his departure from the White House, speculation has mounted as to how Trump's presidency will impact the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
Earlier this month, Trump appointed his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as his senior adviser having previously suggested that Kushner could serve as Middle East envoy due to his links to Israel.