Friday, October 30, 2020

Palestine welcomes Czech Republicís embassy move rejection

By Myriam Purtscher - May 28, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [European Union] [Jerusalem]


The Palestinian Authority has welcomed the Czech Republic’s rejection of relocating their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has commended the Czech Republic’s decision and their "commitment to international resolutions and international law".


Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said in a statement on May 25 his government respects the European Union stance and United Nations resolutions on this issue and will not be relocating their embassy in Israel.


Czech President Milos Zeman promised the relocation of their embassy to Jerusalem during a speech before the Israeli Knesset in November 2018.


However, Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who was given the power over the final say, has in the past indicated Prague will not break from the EU’s position on the issue and has reaffirmed that position.


The United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018 despite widespread condemnation by Palestinians, Arabs and the international community.


The U.S. and Guatemala have so far been the only countries to officially moved their embassies to Jerusalem.


Jerusalem remains one of the biggest hurdles in terms of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, as Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as their capital.


Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, claiming Jerusalem as their capital, which is not recognised under international law.


Palestinian diplomatic solidarity


In April, the South African government implemented what they refer to as 'stage one’ of downgrading diplomatic relations with Israel by permanently withdrawing their ambassador from Tel Aviv.


The South African full-service embassy in Tel Aviv was reduced to a liaison office and diplomatic mission with limited functionality.


The decision to cut diplomatic ties with Israel came in 2017 after South Africa’s ruling party, African National Congress (ANC), passed a resolution directing the South African government to “immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office”.


The ANC initiated the resolution to uphold “a practical expression of support [for] the oppressed people of Palestine” by using diplomatic pressure on Israel to end the occupation of the Palestinian Territories.


The move was hailed by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority representing a “serious response to Israel violating international law”.

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