PA urges diplomats to boycott opening of US embassy in J'lem

'Opening of US embassy in Jerusalem violates international law, UN Security Council rulings,' warns Palestinian Authority.

David Rosenberg,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat

The Palestinian Authority has called on foreign diplomats and religious leaders to boycott the opening ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem, scheduled to take place next Monday in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood.

Senior Palestinian Authority spokesman and Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee Saeb Erekat claimed that the relocation of America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem violated international law, and flouted United Nations Security Council decisions.

“By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving its embassy thereto, the Trump administration is violating its obligations under international law, including UNSCR 478, and the U.S. own commitments towards the peace process,” Erekat said, according to the PLO mouthpiece WAFA.

Calling President Trump’s December 6th declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing plans to relocate the embassy “international anarchy”, Erekat lobbied religious leaders and representatives of foreign governments not to attend the unveiling ceremony.

“As Washington pursues a policy of encouragement of international anarchy and disregard for organizations and international law, we call upon all diplomatic corps, civil society organizations, and religious authorities to boycott the inauguration ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem, lest they lend legitimacy to an illegal decision and to continued Israeli policies of occupation, colonization, and annexation.”

The PLO leader warned that the opening of the embassy would prevent future negotiations towards a permanent peace deal between Israel and the PA.

It “is not only illegal, but will also thwart the achievement of a just and lasting peace between two sovereign and democratic states on the 1967 borders, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security.”

Erekat accused those who do attend the opening ceremony of “sending an ominous message, a message that they encourage flagrant violations of international law and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

Despite his criticism of the US and Israel, the PLO leader sought a life-saving lung transplant from Israel last year, after he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease caused by the formation of scar tissue inside the lungs.

Erekat later added his name to a waiting list in the Virginia, where he eventually underwent a transplant in October 2017.

Earlier on Monday, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat joined city workers in placing road signs directing traffic to the soon-to-be opened embassy.

"It's not a dream, it's reality," Barkat said. "This morning, I am proud and excited to hang the first signs for the US Embassy, which will open next week in Jerusalem."

"This is an historic event, and I thank US President Donald Trump for it.