US President Donald Trump's Jerusalem proclamation of Dec. 6 sent shock waves throughout the Middle East. Visiting Ramallah one comes away with the impression that the Palestinians are experiencing some sort of a political earthquake. Meetings that took place in recent weeks with US envoy Jason Greenblatt focused on a possible American peace Initiative. And so, the Palestinian leadership was taken by surprise when Trump made his decision on Jerusalem.
A senior PLO official close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reacted to Al-Monitor with anger. “This is not a peace initiative, but a declaration of war against the Palestinian people,” he said, talking on condition of anonymity. The PLO official said that intense deliberations took place in the president’s office in the immediate aftermath of the US recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.