Palestine slams Trump for suggesting removing Jerusalem from peace talks

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Meanwhile, Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, called Trump's decision to remove Jerusalem from Palestinian-Israeli talks "very dangerous."

RAMALLAH/GAZA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Islamic Hamas movement on Wednesday slammed U.S. President Donald Trump for suggesting removing the issue of Jerusalem from the Middle East peace talks.

"During the negotiations, Israel will pay a much higher price because it has taken a very valuable gift," Trump added, referring to his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December.

Ahmad Tamimi, a PLO Executive Committee member, said in a press statement that the remarks of President Trump over removing the issue of Jerusalem from the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations "are useless."

"Trump won't be able to remove the issue of Jerusalem from hearts of the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims," the senior PLO official highlighted.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently confirmed that the Palestinian side would neither hold talks with the Trump administration nor accept it as the peace mediator before it backs down on its decision on Jerusalem.

A Palestinian man throws his child in the air following morning prayers marking the first day of Eid al-Adha celebrations, on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Aug. 21, 2018. (Reuters photo)

"We have removed the issue of Jerusalem from the negotiating table," Trump said in a speech in Virginia on Tuesday.

The Palestinian leaders have repeatedly announced their categorical rejection to any U.S. Middle East peace plan that excludes Jerusalem, the refugees issue and Jewish settlements.

"There should be a firm and strict Palestinian response like withdrawing the recognition of Israel, cancelling the security partnership and severing all contacts and ties with the U.S. administration," Abu Zuhri said in an e-mailed press statement.

"Trump's remarks express the biased U.S. policy toward Israel and a continuation of the U.S. illusions, which include passing the new peace 'Deal of Century' without Jerusalem being the capital for the Palestinian state," he said.