Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Palestine sues US over Embassy move to Jerusalem


By Myriam Purtscher - October 02, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [international criminal court] [Jerusalem] [US foreign policy]

Palestine has filed a complaint with the UN International Court of Justice over the United States decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a statement on September 28 which stated Palestine regards the embassy's relocation is in breach of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
 
According to the statement, Palestine argues the US violated its international obligations when it moved its embassy to Jerusalem.
 
“The relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel to . . . Jerusalem constitutes a breach of the Vienna Convention”, the statement said.
 
The statement also requested the Court “to order the United States of America to withdraw the diplomatic mission from the Holy City of Jerusalem and to conform to the international obligations flowing from the Vienna Convention.”
 
The 'Vienna Convention’ on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) is a treaty concerning international law which defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries.
 
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told Palestinian news agency Wafa, the complaint "comes in line with the policy of the State of Palestine, which aims to preserve the character of the holy city of Jerusalem with its unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions."
 
"We defend our rights and our people without hesitation and reject all forms of political and financial extortion," Malki told Wafa.
 
Palestine was officially recognized by the UN General Assembly in 2012 as a non-member observer state, though its statehood is not recognized by either Israel or the United States.
 
Ralph Wilde, an international lawyer based at the University College London, told Al Jazeera the court must rule if Palestine is deemed a nation state before making their decision.
 
"The case will partly hinge on the question of Palestinian statehood, and that has never been before the International Court of Justice," Wilde told Al Jazeera.
 
"The court's jurisdiction will only be possible if it can conclude that Palestine meets the international law test for statehood.”
 
In December last year, US President Donald Trump ordered the American embassy in Israel to relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, where the new embassy opened on May 14 sparking international outrage.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the move, stating "We have no better friends in the world, you stand for Israel, and you stand for Jerusalem ... President Trump, by recognising history, you have made history ... We are in Jerusalem, and we are here to stay."
 
Backlash from the opening coincided with the start of Gaza’s Great March of Return and has resulted in the deaths of 52 Palestinians demonstrators.

The ongoing Great March of Return in Gaza demonstrators call for the refugees' right to return to the homes they were forcibly expelled from 70 years ago and has resulted in the deaths of 180 Palestinians.

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