24 January 2017, Tue, 8:26

Muslim scholars slam US embassy move to Jerusalem

The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has warned against the planned relocation of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“[Such a move] would be a brazen violation of UN resolutions,” the Doha-based body said in a statement released on Saturday.

Newly-inaugurated US President Donald Trump has pledged during his electoral campaign to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem despite reluctance to do so by past administrations – Republican and Democrat alike.

While Israel claimed the city as its “eternal capital” after occupying East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israel war, the international community does not recognize the claim and foreign embassies are currently located in Tel Aviv.

Earlier this month, Senate Republicans introduced legislation to relocate the embassy and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Muslim intellectuals, scholars and leaders will not accept relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem,” the IUMS said.

It warned that the embassy relocation “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 division and fragmentation that have affected the Islamic world push those waiting in the ambush to gain more profits by taking advantage of this opportunity,” the statement read, going on to call on Muslims and international organizations to raise their voices to protect the Palestinian rights.

Trump has accused the administration of former president Barack Obama of not being friendly enough to Israel.

Obama has been critical of Israel’s settlement building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Now after Obama’s departure, speculation has mounted as to how Trump’s presidency will impact the relationship between the US and Israel.

Two weeks before, Trump appointed his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as his senior adviser having previously suggested that Kushner could serve as Middle East envoy due to his links to Israel.