‘US dictations’: Palestine slams Paraguay embassy move to Jerusalem

‘US dictations’: Palestine slams Paraguay embassy move to Jerusalem
Palestine accused Paraguay of aiding Israel’s “annexation” of Jerusalem, after it became the third nation to move its embassy to the city. Palestinian officials are calling on Arab states to cut ties with anyone making the move.

Member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi denounced Paraguay’s decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv, describing the relocation as a "a deliberate and flagrant violation of international law and legitimacy resolutions." She added that “taking such a provocative and irresponsible step” makes Paraguay complicit in Israel’s attempt to “consolidate [its] military occupation” and “annex Jerusalem.”

Following the United States and Guatemala, Paraguay is now the third nation to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority said it was urging the Arab world and Islamic nations to cut ties with Guatemala and Paraguay in response to their decision to follow Washington’s lead in relocating their embassies.

A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz that while it’s clear that no Arab state would cut its ties with Washington, “with countries like Guatemala and Paraguay, it may be possible and that can serve as leverage over other countries that are thinking about doing the same thing" in regards to their embassies.

In 1980, Israel passed a law that declared Jerusalem the "complete and united" capital of Israel, in violation of international law. The Palestinians, with broad international support, see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. However, Israel has occupied east Jerusalem since 1967, in a move that has not been recognized by the international community.

Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes presided over the inauguration of the new embassy on Monday, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance. The new diplomatic compound is located in the same Jerusalem office park which holds Guatemala’s new embassy, which opened on May 16.

Commenting on the embassy’s opening, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Paraguay’s decision to relocate its diplomatic mission to Jerusalem was prompted by "American and Israeli dictations and allures."

The US opened the doors to its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, in a lavish ceremony attended by Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. On the same day, 60 Palestinians, including children, were killed during demonstrations against the embassy’s inauguration. The violence was condemned by rights groups and most UN Security Council members, with even the US’ closest allies refusing to stand by Washington’s support for Tel Aviv.

In a recent interview with Sputnik, Ruhi al Fattuh, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said that “the land the US embassy stands on was illegally occupied. The Americans continue the Israeli practice of building settlements in Palestine.”

In December, the United Nations General Assembly voted by 128 to 9 to declare Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void”.

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