According to international law, Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, although it has been occupied by Israel since 1967. Photo: Reuters

THE Palestinian cause returned to international headlines recently, but not for the best of reasons. The United States, which has to date attempted to maintain the role of "negotiator" between the two parties in conflict - the Zionist state and Palestine - has decided to publicly take Israel's side.

Donald Trump, on several occasions during his Presidential campaign, promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, "the eternal capital of the Jewish people."

Tel Aviv is the internationally recognized capital of Israel, but the U.S. President believes he can declare Jerusalem as the country's "indivisible" capital.

The world community does not concur with this position, since the eastern part of the city, according to international law, is Palestine's capital, although it has been occupied by the Israelis since the 1967 war.

The U.S. plan to move its diplomatic mission to Jerusalem is a clear example of its interference in the region, and an attempt to undermine negotiations held recently in France, which have been at a standstill since 2014.

On every opportunity, during every international debate, the Palestinian people have demanded the right of refugees to return; an end to the occupation by settlers and the Israeli army; a return to the 1967 borders; and most importantly, an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The United States, for its part, systematically uses its veto in the UN Security Council in favor of Israel and against the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people, while publicly calling for dialogue between the two sides.

The President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmud Abás, reaffirmed his rejection of a possible move by the United States embassy, recalling that the city is occupied territory.

"We warn all parties against unilateral initiatives, against any encouragement of the occupation," Abás said, during the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Saeb Erekat, who for years has led Palestine's negotiations with Israel, believes that if Trump keeps his word, the move would constitute a severe blow, which analysts believe would ignite a spark based on the indignation, humiliation, and violence suffered by the Palestinian people for so long. The danger of disturbances and a new intifada is high, since there is little to lose.

Palestine's Ambassador to the United Nations, Riad Mansour, said that if this U.S. threat is carried out, it would qualify as a "direct attack," and no one could blame his government for using all means available in the UN and other international bodies to oppose such an action.

"We have a card up our sleeve: the possibility of taking Israel to court for war crimes, " he said.

March 26, Abás and Jordan's King Abdullah spoke and, according to local media, came up with a list of actions they were prepared to take if Trump should in fact move the embassy.

Now it's wait and see. If Trump should decide to go ahead with the plan, a great deal of commotion will no doubt be generated across the region, with unpredictable consequences.