PA accuses US of 'blind support' for Israel

PA blasts US decision to withdraw from optional protocol of UN's Vienna Convention, says it shows "disdain" for international law.

Elad Benari ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The Palestinian Authority (PA) “foreign ministry” on Thursday blasted the United States over its decision to withdraw from the optional protocol on dispute resolution of the UN's Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

In a statement, the PA bureau said the decision reaffirms the US administration's disdain towards international law.

“This administration is willfully disrupting and undermining the international order because of its blind support to Israel's illegal colonial policies, thus advancing this hostile agenda at the expense of global cooperation and protecting the standing and influence of international norms,” said the statement, which was quoted by the Wafa news agency.

“The State of Palestine has exercised its right to defend itself through legal means by resorting to the International Court of Justice on the issue of the illegal US embassy move to our capital, Jerusalem. This step was based on the compulsory jurisdiction of Court, as stipulated in Article I of the Additional Protocol,” it added.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the move on Wednesday, explaining that it was brought about by “the so-called state of Palestine” challenging the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

"[Palestine] is not a state now. It does not meet the customary international law test of statehood," said Bolton. "It doesn't control defined boundaries. It doesn't fulfill normal functions of government. There are a whole host of reasons why it's not a state."

"It could become a state, as the president said, but that requires diplomatic negotiations with Israel and others," he added.

The PA bureau said the US decision to pull out of the Additional Protocol “reaffirms its rejection of accountability and determination to be above the law, using false pretexts of politicization and recklessly attacking the credibility the world's most prestigious courts. This move also reconfirms worldwide fears about its hostile and isolationist attitude, which threaten the international order with yet more disruption.”

“The Palestinian leadership will continue to defend our people's rights against all threats posed by Israel's illegal colonial policies and States that support and adopt them. We will do so in line with international law and using available international conflict-resolution mechanisms,” it said.

“Our actions are anchored in our commitment to and respect for international law and existing international mechanisms. It is also based on our conviction that no one person or country is above the law and that accountability is a cornerstone of ensuring and protecting international peace and security. It is now rather obvious that the current US administration believes it is above the law and beyond the reach of accountability. This reckless attitude is a challenge to the international order; one that Palestine and the rest of the international community must face with clarity of vision and determination,” concluded the statement.

The PA last week filed a case with the Hague-based International Court of Justice, asking its judges to order Washington to remove the recently relocated US embassy from Jerusalem.

The court said that the PA’s case asks its judges "to order the United States of America to withdraw the diplomatic mission from the Holy City of Jerusalem."

US President Donald Trump announced last December that the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would be relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The embassy officially relocated on May 14, the day on which the State of Israel was established in 1948.

The PA, angered by Trump’s move, broke off contact with the US after the announcement and refuses to consider the Trump administration an honest broker for peace negotiations with Israel.