Muslim Scholars Warn Against U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem

Such a step 'would fuel the spirit of conflict and sedition, play into the hands of extremists and incite hatred against those assaulting the rights of the Palestinian people,' the Qatar-based group stated.

The U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.
Ariel Schalit

Muslim scholars have warned against the relocation of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to do.

Moving the embassy "would be a brazen violation of UN resolutions," the The Qatar-based International Union for Muslim Scholars said in a statement released on Saturday, according to media reports.

"Muslim intellectuals, scholars and leaders will not accept relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem," the group said, warning that such a step "would fuel the spirit of conflict and sedition, play into the hands of extremists and incite hatred against those assaulting the rights of the Palestinian people."

On Sunday, the White House said that the Trump administration was "at the very beginning stages of even discussing" the subject of moving the U.S embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

A day before Trump's inauguration, on Thursday, Spicer told reporters an announcement on moving the embassy to Jerusalem was "coming soon." He encouraged journalists to "stay tuned."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met on Sunday with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman about the possibility the new U.S. administration would move Washington's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The two leaders agreed on a list of steps they would take if such a decision is implemented, Abbas said after the meeting.

The Palestinians seek to establish the capital of an independent Palestinian state in Jerusalem while a broad section of the Israeli political spectrum takes that position that it will remain Israel's undivided capital.