US Jerusalem move to destabilize Mideast: Analysts
U.S. plans to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem and officially recognize the city as Israel's capital will send the Middle East region into a new episode of instability, Palestinian analysts warn.
U.S. media said President Donald Trump was mulling the imminent relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the formal recognition of the city as Israel's capital on Wednesday.
Such a move "would be like pouring oil on fire," political analyst Adnan Abu Amer told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
"This decision will escalate the situation in the Middle East and increase pressure on major Arab states," he said. The analyst, however, described the imminent U.S. move as "promotional".
"This decision, however, would not be implemented," he opined.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict, which Israel occupied the city's east during the Middle East war in 1967.
During his election, Trump promised to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Successive U.S. presidents of both parties have signed a six-month waiver since the Jerusalem Embassy Act was signed into law in 1995, perpetually forestalling the building's legislated move over concerns it could spark a diplomatic crisis and be a death knell to peace talks.
Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, but Palestinians are seeking the city's east for the capital of their future state.
Talal Okal, a political analyst, believes that the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would be "more dangerous" than the embassy relocation to the city.
"The recognition would make it easy for Washington to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem," he said.
He described the U.S. imminent decision as "blackmail" of the Palestinian Authority.
"If the embassy is moved, the whole cards in the region will be mixed up and the Arabs will not be able to ignore this," he opined.
"The embassy relocation to Jerusalem will be a death knee to the peace process and Palestinian-Israeli negotiations," he warned.
Okal went on to say that the U.S. decision, if implemented, would be a "violation of UN resolutions and international legitimacy which sees Jerusalem as an occupied territory".
He called for piling Arab and international pressure on the U.S. administration to urge Washington to reverse its decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital.
Political analyst Jihad Harb, for his part, rules out any decision by Trump to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or recognize the city as Israel's capital.
"The U.S. administration is preparing to propose ideas for reviving peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel," he said.
U.S.-sponsored peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel collapsed in 2014 over Israel's refusal to halt settlement building in the occupied territories and release Palestinian prisoners.
Any move on the embassy relocation, Harb warned, would be counterproductive to U.S. ideas for Middle East peacemaking.
The Palestinians "should be well-prepared and rally friends to face the repercussions of such a move," he said.