Palestine recalls US envoy after Trump's Jerusalem move

PLO envoy Husam Zomlot to return for 'consultations' following Washington's controversial decision.

Husam Zomlot will return for 'consultations' [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

The Palestinian leadership has said it is recalling its envoy to the United States following Washington's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinian officials have previously said they will "no longer accept" any peace plan put forward by the US following President Donald Trump's unilateral declaration on December 6.

Trump's move sparked deadly protests in the occupied Palestinian territories and major rallies in support of the Palestinians across the Muslim world.

A resounding majority of United Nations member states also defied unprecedented threats by the US to declare the US' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void".

On Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said that Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian Liberation Organization envoy to Washington, DC, would return for "consultations".

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Riyad al-Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, said that discussions would take place "to set the decisions needed by the Palestinian leadership in the coming period regarding our relations with the US".

He added that the envoy is expected to return to "his normal work" after the discussions.

'Eternal capital of Palestinians'

Jerusalem, home to religious sites, has particular significance for Muslims, Christians and Jews.

West Jerusalem was seized by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, when more than 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from historic Palestine. The war is referred to by Palestinians as the Nakba (catastrophe), this was when Israel was officially founded.

Israel subsequently occupied and annexed the eastern part of the city after its military victory in the 1967 war, but its control over East Jerusalem has never been recognised by the international community.

Palestinian leaders want occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, while Israel says the city cannot be divided.

Also on Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Jerusalem "the eternal capital of the Palestinian people", in an event marking the 53rd anniversary of his Fatah movement.

"We will not accept the status quo. We will not accept the apartheid system. We will not accept occupation without cost, and you [Israel] must rethink your aggressive policies and actions against our people, our land and our holy places before it is too late," said Abbas.

Source: Al Jazeera News