“It will lead to bloodshed,” said Sultan Abu Al-Einein, a senior advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The Minister of Religious Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Al-Habbash, called the issue “a declaration of war on all Muslims” and warned that “this will not pass in silence.”
Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Muslim Council and preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, says moving the embassy amounts to a declaration of war on Islam: “What this means is that America recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews, and in doing so America will declare a new war against the Palestinians and also against the Arabs and the Muslims.”
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said relocating the embassy to Jerusalem and the annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank would “plunge the whole region into anarchy, chaos and extremism.”
Osama Al-Qawasmi, spokesman for the PA’s ruling Fatah party, cautioned that “any step to transfer the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will cause an explosion.” Fatah Revolutionary Council member Hanna Issa added that doing so would “ignite a religious war.”
Fearing a new wave of unrest, some are suggesting a compromise of simply moving the US ambassador’s residence to Jerusalem. This means he would be officially working in the capital while the embassy would remain in Tel Aviv.
One of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s advisers told Israel Today that the Israeli government fears moving the embassy. “The risk is too high,” he said. “Believe me, no one wants a third world war.”