PA 'will break ties with countries moving embassies to Jerusalem', Palestinian official warns

PA 'will break ties with countries moving embassies to Jerusalem', Palestinian official warns
3 min read
06 September, 2020
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erakat has announced that the Palestinian Authority will break off relations with any countries moving their Israel embassies to Jerusalem in violation of international law.
Saeb Erakat warned countries moving their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem [Getty]
A senior Palestinian official warned on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority would cut off all ties with any country which transfers its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Saeb Erekat, the General Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who has led Palestinian attempts to negotiate with Israel in the past, said on Twitter: "Palestine will sever its relations with any country that will move or open its embassy to Jerusalem.

"We urge all nation states to abide by international law, including Security Council resolutions 478 and 2334. Violating international law is a sign of weakness not strength."

On Friday evening, US President Donald Trump announced that Serbia had committed to moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, while Kosovo and Israel had agreed to normalise relations.

In another Arabic-language tweet, Erekat chided Arab and Muslim states for not putting pressure on the Trump administration over the issue and said that Trump was cajoling the southeast African nation of Malawi to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

"There is now pressure on Malawi from US President Donald Trump. Where are the Arab and Islamic countries? Isn't that a good question to those who say they’re concerned for Palestine?", he tweeted.

On Saturday, Lazarus Chakwera, an Evangelical Christian who recently took office as president of Malawi, said that Malawi had "resolved" to open a "new diplomatic mission" in Jerusalem adding, "I will be sharing more details about this in the future."

Malawi currently has no embassy in Israel and if Chakwera goes ahead with this move, it will be the first African country to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Read also: Despite US pressure, Sudan's cost-benefit analysis puts normalising ties with Israel on hold, for now

The Trump administration moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2018 but most countries refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in line with UN resolutions on the matter, maintaining embassies in Tel Aviv instead.

On Sunday, the Arabic news website Arabi 21 reported that Erekat was in talks with several Arab foreign ministers to prevent further normalisation of relations between Arab countries and Israel following the signing of a normalisation accord between the UAE and Israel last month.

A meeting of the council of the Arab League, chaired by Palestine, is due to take place next Wednesday.

According to Arabi 21, Erekat stressed that Arab countries should adhere to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which says that Arab countries will only normalise relations with Israel when it returns to its internationally-recognised 1967 boundaries, ends its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and siege of Gaza.

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