GENEVA - Palestinian officials attending a two-day conference on the status of Jerusalem warn peace with Israel will not be possible without resolving the dispute over the ancient city, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital.
The conference is addressing the issue of Israel's policies and measures, which organizers say are aimed at changing the character of Jerusalem. They warn the decision by the Trump administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has significant political, legal and socioeconomic ramifications.
Riyad Mansour, permanent observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations in New York, has warned that President Donald Trump's gift of Jerusalem to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to derail prospects for a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine.
He says the U.S. administration has lost all credibility by gifting Jerusalem to Israel and moving its embassy before peace negotiations have even begun.
"For us, we face this earthquake by saying they disqualified themselves from being an honest broker between us and the Israelis,” Mansour said. “And, our president came to the Security Council and said no more for the United States to be in control of this process or the mediator. We want a collective process."
Mansour said the Palestinians are calling for an international conference composed of the P5 nuclear powers and other members of the Security Council, as well as other nations to increase the chances of reaching a global consensus on a peace deal between Palestine and Israel.
The Palestinian official dismissed senior White House adviser Jared Kushner's $50 billion proposal to revitalize the Palestinian economy as a nonstarter. He said the process of resolving the complicated issues between his people and Israel could not be done through the economic door. He said it had to be done through the political door.