Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah leaders have warned of a violent response from the Palestinian population to President Trump’s reported decision to move the American Embassy to from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, threatening that an Embassy move will lead to bloodshed.
Shadi Mattour, Deputy Secretary of Fatah’s Jerusalem branch, told official PA TV that Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, has already held meeting with “all the field leaders in the branches and the Shabiba (Fatah’s youth movement)… in preparation for a fierce popular intifada (uprising)”. He further asserted that Fatah “won’t hesitate to take to the streets and return to confronting the occupation using all means”.
Similar threats have also been made by numerous other PA and Fatah leaders. Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki emphasised that “Jerusalem is the mother of battles” and that if the new US administration decides to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinian people “will not stand idly by”. He noted that they were preparing to “resolve their situation” and more broadly threatened that “in the end… the Zionist extremists will pay the price”.
The last time PA officials expressed many threats to use violence was during August 2015 which sparked many months of Palestinian terror in the form of car-ramming, shooting, and stabbing attacks against Israelis. This violence resulted in 46 deaths with a further 649 Israelis wounded.
During President Trump’s election campaign, he promised to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem on a number of occasions and has reaffirmed his commitment since his inauguration on 20th January. However, in a Fox News interview on Thursday, the President said, regarding the embassy move, “I don’t want to talk about it yet, it’s too early”.