Palestinians Slam Trump: 'Undivided Jerusalem' Pledge Shows Disregard for International Law

Presidential candidate's statement underscores Abbas' call for world to end occupation, senior PLO official Saeb Erekat says after Trump, Netanyahu meeting.

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Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, September 25, 2016.
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, September 25, 2016.Credit: GPO

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat condemned on Monday Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump who said that, if he is elected, the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the "undivided capital of the State of Israel."

Trump "shows disregard for international law regarding the status of Jerusalem, including the occupation and illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem," Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.

Erekat added that statements by Trump's adviser on Israel, American Jewish lawyer David Friedman, "show a total abandonment of the two-state solution, international law and UN resolutions, and underscores the urgency of President Abbas’ call at the [UN] General Assembly for the international community to bring an end to the occupation and salvage the two-state solution before it is too late."

Trump's statement was issued following a meeting between the Republican contender and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday at Trump Tower in New York. At the meeting, the statement said, "Mr. Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel."

Later in the day on Sunday, Netanyahu met in New York with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. At the meeting, Clinton stressed “her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "including by the UN Security Council," according to a statement released by her campaign. She further reiterated her commitment to a two-state solution negotiated directly by the parties. 

A "strong and secure Israel" is vital to the United States, Clinton said, according to the statement. She also "reaffirmed her unwavering commitment" to the U.S.-Israel relationship and stressed her support for the new military aid agreement reached earlier in September and her commitment to countering efforts to boycott Israel.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall and Temple Mount, in 1967 following the Six Day War, although the annexation has not been recognized by the world community. That includes the United States.