News ID: 107983
Publish Date : 19 October 2022 - 21:58

LONDON (Dispatches) – A UK-based Palestinian rights group has written to British Prime Minister Liz Truss, warning her that any attempt to move the British embassy in the Israeli-occupied territories from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds would be unlawful and could result in the group issuing judicial review proceedings.
A detailed independent legal opinion obtained by the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), which was sent to Truss on Tuesday, states that there are strong grounds to conclude that moving the embassy would constitute a violation of the UK’s obligations under international law, as it would imply recognition of unilateral legislative, administrative and other measures adopted by the occupying regime in relation to Al-Quds.
In a statement on Wednesday, the ICJP said: “These measures, which include Israel’s enactment of Basic Law 1980 declaring Jerusalem (Al-Quds) ‘complete and united’ as Israel’s capital, have been repeatedly declared invalid by UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council.
“The UN Security Council has affirmed that the enactment of the Basic Law 1980 constitutes a violation of international law.”
The legal opinion also found that there were strong grounds to conclude that the move would violate the UK’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions.
The move by the ICJP comes after Truss pledged last month to review the current location of the UK embassy, stating the review was “to ensure we are operating on the strongest footing within Israel”.
On Tuesday, Middle East Eye revealed that the British government holds a plot of land in Al-Quds earmarked for decades as the site of a future embassy in the occupied territories.
The site in the Talpiot neighborhood, known as the Orange Plot, was retained by the British government as part of a 1960s agreement transferring ownership to the Zionist regime of other assets acquired during the Palestinian Mandate.
The moving of the embassy would reverse decades of UK policy in line with international convention which holds that Al-Quds’ status should only be decided following final negotiations between the Zionists and Palestinians, and that moving the embassy would be de facto recognition that the city was the occupying regime’s so-called capital.
Truss’s review has been widely condemned, including from within her own Conservative Party. Former Foreign Secretary William Hague said that moving the embassy would align the government with Donald Trump, while religious leaders in the UK, including Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, have expressed concern.

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