Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Councilor of Jerusalem: “The transfer of the US embassy pushes the Palestinians to sit down and talk to us”

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The Israeli politician celebrated the decision of Donald Trump, and affirmed that the problem for reaching a peace agreement is that the Palestinian Authority does not want to sit down at the table with the Israelis. “They want to talk to the UN, to the EU, but they do not sit down with us.”

By Fernanda Kobelinsky (Jerusalem)

This British woman with an Andalusian accent—born and raised in Gibraltar—leads the political party Yerushalmim. She studied in England and then moved to Israel, where she has lived in Jerusalem for 17 years. After having worked for different organizations, and having had a private career in the legal profession, she was elected councilor of the local Municipality.

From the Fuente Latina press center, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum analyzed for Infobae how the decision of Donald Trump to relocate the Tel Aviv embassy to Jerusalem impacts the city.

“For me it is recognizing what we have known for a long time, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and it is very special that the US also believes it to be that way, but it is also a great economic opportunity for the city. It will bring a more international, more cosmopolitan atmosphere,” she says.

For Hassan-Nahoum it was a surprise that the Republican finally had fulfilled his promise after 30 years in which successive American presidents had postponed the move: “They expected a more comfortable political environment to do it, but that does not happen, and I do not know if it will ever happen.”

The councilor affirms that this decision does not preclude any peace agreement. For her, instead, it is a great opportunity. “Negotiations have not progressed for two years now, and this can be something that boosts things. We have to act to make something happen. I believe that they (the Palestinians) will say that it is time to sit down and negotiate because, if not, they are going to lose.”

“I do not foresee any additional risk of attacks and, if they start, the intelligence here is sophisticated enough to improve security.”

A third of the city is Arab, and many among its population does not support the relocation because that means recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, thus truncating their wishes for a future Palestinian capital in this same city. “What they have to understand is that, in whatever agreement there might be, Jerusalem will always be the capital of Israel. We will not accept any pact in which the capital is Tel Aviv,” she warns.

When asked about the eastern part of the city, she is less decisive: “There are many regions in the east that are Arab and I have no interest in these regions being part of everything. If they want to think of a future capital, there are possibilities in the Palestinian regions.”

For her, the negotiation is what is failing. “The leaders of the Palestinian Authority want an agreement with Israel without sitting with the Israelis. They prefer to sit with the United Nations, with the European Union, but they do not want to sit with the Israelis…and there is no agreement without the parties.”

Infobae asked her about the possibility of an increase in the attacks in Jerusalem now that it houses the US Embassy, but Hassan-Nahoum discarded it. She states that this is “one of the safest capitals in the world”, and she explains that “what you see on television are only the crises,” and she argues that everyday life is very quiet and that she does not think it will change. “I have four children and they come and go to school walking, and they get on buses. Usually, everything is very safe,” she says to illustrate her points.

“I do not see any more risks and, if they start, the intelligence here is sophisticated enough to improve security,” she says confidently.

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