The announcement by US President Trump that “the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move the American embassy to Jerusalem” has caused a large uproar not only in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) but also throughout the international community. Israel continues to violently suppress Palestinians who protest against the US announcement, and carries out attacks and bombings in the Gaza Strip almost everyday. In this situation, AIDA (Association of International Development Agencies), a coalition of NGOs working in the oPt, of which JVC is a member, released the following statement.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
INGOs are deeply concerned about the US announcement about Jerusalem
8 December 2017
“The US announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy to the city is an ill-advised move affecting both Palestinians and Israelis”, AIDA, a coalition of over 80 humanitarian, development and human-rights organizations working in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) stated today.
Because the President’s announcement lacked balance by pointedly omitting to reciprocally recognize Jerusalem as Palestine’s future capital, it is likely to have dire implications for the prospect of a peaceful and just solution to the conflict, and to increase the risk of violence for everyone living in the oPt and Israel.
AIDA said the decision will exacerbate the already flagrant pattern of violations of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights law, and likely increase the existing grave humanitarian and development needs of Palestinians.
The US announcement effectively recognizes Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem, which the international community and UN Security Council have consistently refused to do. According to international law, East Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory and Third States, including the US, must refrain from any actions whichmay, even implicitly, be seen to recognize Israel’s unlawful annexation of East Jerusalem. Furthermore, this US announcement stands in direct opposition to international law’s strict prohibition against acquiring territory by force.
AIDA urges the US Administration to abstain from taking any additional unilateral actions which may further inflame the situation, and to focus efforts on support for a lasting peace and an end to the conflict, and to Israel’s 50 year-long occupation of the Palestinian territory.