• It is being widely reported that President Donald Trump has informed the Palestinian Authority of his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • This proposed move shows flagrant disregard for international law, Palestinian rights and international opinion. It can only serve to inflame tensions across the Middle East.
  • PSC calls on the UK government to issue a robust condemnation of President Trump’s decision- if confirmed-, and to reaffirm its position that It will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders with regard to Jerusalem, unless agreed between the parties.

US President Donald Trump missed a deadline this morning for signing a waiver which would keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv. He previously signed the waiver in June that complies with a 1995 law that insists the President must move the embassy to Jerusalem or explain at six-monthly intervals why doing so is not in the interest of the national security of the US.

It is now being widely reported that he will announce his intention to move the embassy and possibly to issue a statement recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; something no US President has done since Israel’s establishment in 1948.  International leaders from High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to the President of Turkey have issued warnings to the US over the potentially catastrophic consequences of such a move.

President’s Trump’s move, if confirmed, would violate Resolution 478, which called upon all nations not to establish diplomatic missions and embassies in Jerusalem, and also UNSC Resolution 2334, which declared that all Israeli settlements built since 1967 are invalid, and calls on all parties to avoid unilateral actions that disrupt peace.

Hugh Lanning, Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign said:

“If true that President Trump is indeed going to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and move the embassy from Tel Aviv, this would represent a dangerous disregard for international law, and also for the stability of the region. Only a Trumpian world-view, in which facts are conveniently ignored, allows for the position that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem will advance a peace process. This decision would also remove any final vestiges of the idea that the US can act as an honest broker in the Middle East. By showing such disregard for the rights and claims of the Palestinian people, the US has ended any remaining pretence of even-handedness. The UK must robustly condemn the decision, and demonstrate a willingness to speak truth to the US. We call on the UK government to make clear that it respects international law and will not support any moves that violate international law and the rights and claims of the Palestinian people.”

 ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • Jerusalem is not recognised as Israel’s capital by any nation state, and all foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv, with some embassies situated in East Jerusalem to provide consular and diplomatic services for Palestinians.
  • The UK government regards the status of Jerusalem as still to be determined in permanent status negotiations between the parties. It does not support any action that predetermines the final status of Jerusalem.
  • In 1967, Israel unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem. The international community, including the US, does not recognise the annexation of East Jerusalem.
  • Donald Trump gave his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, an important advisory role in the Middle East. From 2006-2015, Jared Kushner’s was co-Director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation, which has donated funding to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
  • Following Donald Trump’s election, Israel announced plans for approximately 600 new settlement units in East Jerusalem, and a further 2,500 in the West Bank, in violation of UNSC Resolution 2334. Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor, declared, “The rules of the game have changed with Donal Trump’s arrival as President. We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama. Now we can finally build.”