Speed Reads

Israel and Palestine

Palestinian president says Trump's plan to move U.S. embassy will hinder Mideast peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that President-elect Donald Trump's promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a mistake which could hinder the Mideast peace process. "We are waiting to see if it happens," Abbas said while visiting Vatican City to inaugurate the Palestinian embassy to the Holy See. "If it does it will not help peace and we hope it does not happen," he continued.

Palestinians oppose the move on grounds that it could undermine historic claims to the disputed city by Muslim and Christian residents, consolidating the power of the Israeli state and upsetting any movement toward a two-state solution.

On Sunday, diplomats from 70 nations — not including representatives of Israel, Palestine, and the incoming Trump administration — are meeting in Paris to discuss the establishment of a Palestinian state. The Israelis and Palestinians have not engaged in peace negotiations with each other since 2014.