Palestinians ask UN court to revoke US Jerusalem embassy move

The US Embassy building in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv. (AFP pic)

JERUSALEM: Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said Saturday the Palestinians have petitioned the UN’s top court, alleging that the US inauguration of an embassy in Jerusalem was illegal.

The Palestinians have filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) “for violating international law by moving its embassy in Israel to the occupied city of Jerusalem”, he said, quoted by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

In December, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite Palestinian claims on part of the city and breaking with longstanding US policy.

Palestinians have since refused all contact with the Trump administration.

The US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, a day marked by mass protest in the Gaza Strip, where about 60 Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli fire in border clashes.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem along with the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and later declared the entire city its united capital.

Palestinians claim the predominantly Arab eastern area as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

UN resolutions call on countries to refrain from moving their embassies to the city until its status is resolved in an Israeli-Palestinian deal.

“The ICJ was asked to declare that moving the embassy to occupied Jerusalem constituted a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” WAFA wrote in English.

The court said the Palestinian suit, filed on Friday, asked the body “to order the United States of America to withdraw the diplomatic mission from the Holy City of Jerusalem and to conform to the international obligations flowing from the Vienna Convention”.