News Analysis: Israel's plan of moving gov't offices to Jerusalem undermines two-state solution: Palestinian analysts

by Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly
RAMALLAH, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Israel's decision to move its ministries and official establishments to Jerusalem will undermine the chance of the two-state solution, the best hope for lasting peace in Palestine and Israel, said Palestinian analysts.
Last week, the Israeli government approved a decision to transfer its departments and offices to Jerusalem and decided to impose sanctions on government offices that do not move.
Palestinian Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that "Israel's decision to transfer its ministries and government institutions to East Jerusalem is a rejected, condemned, and illegitimate move, and we will not allow it to happen," adding that "Israel is playing with fire."
Analysts in Palestine said Israel's plan comes in line with its goal of establishing a "Greater Jerusalem," which includes the western and eastern parts of the city. By moving government offices to Jerusalem, Israel tries to "settle down" the battle for sovereignty over East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim to be their territory according to international law.
They said such a move will further undermine the chance of the two-state solution, which allows Palestinians to establish an independent state on the 1976 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital.
Ziad Hammouri, director of Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, said that "the Israeli government's decision to move its ministries and institutions to Jerusalem is a step to impose full Israeli sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem."
The Israeli government's move "contradicts the international law" and "the whole world" rejects the annexation of Jerusalem, said Hammouri.
Samir Abdullah, an associate professor and senior research fellow at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, said that the Israeli move "is consistent with its plan to destroy any chance of a two-state solution," and try to shape a fait accompli for its benefits.
Israel is "determined to end the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem," said Abdullah, adding that Israel is proceeding with its project and policies against the Palestinians "without receiving a repressive response from the international community."
Abdullah said that "the next step, after transferring the government's ministries, is that Israel will reduce the Palestinian presence in the holy city and increase the number of (Israeli) settlers."
In January 2020, former U.S. President Donald Trump announced a plan for peace in the Middle East, calling for the recognition of Jerusalem as the "undivided capital" of Israel, which sparked widespread controversy.
Hatem Abdel Qader, an official from the Palestinian Authority, said that "Jerusalem, according to international law, is an occupied city, and everything that takes place in it is vain and will not establish a truth."
Abdel Qader also called for the United States to respond to the Israeli government's decision "by reopening its consulate in East Jerusalem." After U.S. President Joe Biden entered the White House, he made several moves to improve relations with the Palestinians. One of the steps was the decision to re-open the consulate in Jerusalem for Palestinians.
But the decision was met with fiery objection from the Israeli side, which claimed that "there is no room for another consulate in Jerusalem." Enditem
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