President-elect Donald Trump’s transitional team has recently been in contact with the Palestinians on how to proceed with diplomatic negotiations.
Israel Radio, in a report on Tuesday, quoted sources within Trump’s team and among Palestinian Authority officials who affirmed that the contacts were taking place.
In the report, an unnamed “senior official” working for Trump is said to have asked a senior Palestinian official why they would object to moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to western Jerusalem.
The official replied that there should be a parallel move, that Washington should establish a US embassy for “Palestine” in eastern Jerusalem and one for Israel in the west side of the city.
The Palestinians envision the eastern side of Israel’s capital as its own. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be the final death blow to the failed peace negotiations, the Palestinians have threatened.
The Trump official reportedly replied that “there is no Palestine, and Jerusalem is not your capital. If you stop the incitement to terror, put in place full economic transparency, stop acting unilaterally at UN bodies and accept a US embassy in west Jerusalem, we (the US) would consider a US diplomatic mission in Ramallah and call upon the Israelis to enter into serious negotiations with you on a long-term relationship.”
The Palestinian official then demanded that Israel stop construction in Judea and Samaria, as well as in eastern Jerusalem, adding that negotiations for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders should promptly commence.
According to sources from both sides, the two senior officials agreed to stay in touch, while no final commitments were made.