Abu Dis or Ramallah: Alternative Locations for a Palestinian Capital?

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Yoni Ben Menachem - On Jan. 6, the Jerusalem committee of the Arab League, headed by Secretary-General Ahmed Abu Gheit, met in Amman to discuss President Trump's declaration on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki demanded that the committee adopt resolutions that would end the American role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, reject any American peace initiative until President Trump rescinds his declaration on Jerusalem, and impose sanctions on any country that transfers its embassy to Jerusalem. Maliki's demands were rejected entirely. The Palestinians do not doubt that President Trump's declaration was meant to lower their expectations that the new political plan he is formulating will make Jerusalem their capital. The Arab regimes show no inclination to confront the Trump administration about Jerusalem on the Palestinians' behalf and senior Fatah sources say the names Abu Dis and Ramallah are beginning to percolate into Palestinian consciousness as a replacement for east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Ramallah already serves as the de facto PA capital. All PA ministries and institutions operate in the city. The village of Abu Dis was mentioned as a possible Palestinian capital beginning in 1995. It is 1.5 km. from the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In 1996, construction began in Abu Dis for the parliamentary building of the Palestinian Legislative Council. The writer is a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television.

2018-01-12 00:00:00

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