Ramallah: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Saturday that his country has filed a legal complaint at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the US decision to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Malki said in a statement that the case was based on Palestine’s membership in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations which defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries, Xinhua news agency reported.
He said prior to filing the complaint to the ICJ, he sent a letter in May to the US State Department warning against its move because it would violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and UN Security Council resolutions.
However, the US failed to respond to the letter, said the top Palestinian diplomat.
Malki asked the ICJ to declare that the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem “was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”.
“Palestine has taken many important steps to address the recent illegal measures taken by the current US administration, particularly with regard to Jerusalem,” Malki said.
The complaint was aimed at preserving the status of the holy city of Jerusalem with its unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions, he said.
All resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council have consistently affirmed that any action or decision to change the status of Jerusalem is “null and void”, he stressed.
Last December, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and decided to move its Embassy to the disputed holy city.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state, while Israel wants all Jerusalem to be its eternal capital.
Israel annexed East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and declared the whole city as its eternal indivisible capital in 1980, but the move has not been recognized by the international community.
The Palestinians have been boycotting the US since it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved its Embassy there.