Pales­tini­ans ask ICJ to re­voke US em­bassy move

Pales­tini­ans have filed a law­suit at the UN court over the vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional law by mov­ing US em­bassy to the oc­cu­pied city of Jerusalem, says Ma­liki; UN of­fi­cial con­cerned over killing of 7 pro­test­ers

The Gulf Today - - MIDDLE EAST -

OC­CU­PIED JERUSALEM: Pales­tinian For­eign Min­is­ter Riyad Al Ma­liki said on 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 iled 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 ofi­cial 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 ire 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, iled on Fri­day, called on 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 low­ing from the Vi­enna Con­ven­tion.”

An ofi­cial of the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (PLO) said it was the irst time Pales­tini­ans had pe­ti­tioned the court against the United States.

In Novem­ber 2012, the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly recog­nised the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity as a “non-mem­ber observer state.”

This al­lowed the Pales­tini­ans to join UN bod­ies such as the ICJ and also the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC), which is a sep­a­rate in­sti­tu­tion.

Pre­vi­ously, the Pales­tini­ans had asked the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly to seek a rul­ing on their be­half over Is­rael’s West Bank sep­a­ra­tion bar­rier.

In 2004, the court is­sued a non­bind­ing rul­ing that the net­work of walls and fences was il­le­gal and called for sec­tions to be dis­man­tled.

Is­rael said it had no in­ten­tion of com­ply­ing.

The ICC was set up in 2002 with ju­ris­dic­tion to in­ves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute the world’s worst crimes in­clud­ing geno­cide, war crimes and crimes against hu­man­ity.

Nei­ther the United States nor Is­rael are sig­na­to­ries to the ICC.

Ear­lier this month, Pales­tinian ofi­cial Saeb Erekat said the Pales­tini­ans had iled a pe­ti­tion there against Is­rael over its pend­ing de­mo­li­tion of the Pales­tinian Be­douin vil­lage of Khan Al Ah­mar in the oc­cu­pied West Bank.

They have pre­vi­ously iled suit to the ICC claim­ing Is­raeli war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

The UN called on Satur­day for Is­rael and Ha­mas rulers to rein in vi­o­lence a day af­ter bor­der clashes in which the Gaza health min­istry said seven Pales­tini­ans were killed.

“I am deeply sad­dened by re­ports that seven Pales­tini­ans, in­clud­ing two chil­dren, were killed, and hun­dreds of oth­ers in­jured, by Is­raeli forces dur­ing demon­stra­tions in the Gaza Strip yes­ter­day (Fri­day),” the UN’S hu­man­i­tar­ian co-or­di­na­tor for the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries, Jamie Mcgoldrick, said in a state­ment.

Mean­while, thou­sands at­tended fu­ner­als for seven Pales­tini­ans killed by Is­raeli ire in dead­li­est day of protests aimed at Gaza’s bor­der block­ade in sev­eral months.

Among those killed near Gaza’s perime­ter fence were two boys, ages 11 and 14. A Gaza rights group says the 11-year-old is the youngest to have been killed by Is­raeli ire in the protests.

Agence France-presse

Rel­a­tives of Mo­hammed Al Houm, who was killed dur­ing a protest along the Is­rael-gaza bor­der fence, mourn dur­ing his funeral in the Bureij refugee camp, cen­tral Gaza, on Satur­day.

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