Palestinians to file complaint over Honduras Jerusalem move

Ramallah: The Palestinian foreign ministry said Thursday it would file a complaint at the United Nations against Honduras, after the Central American state recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state.

US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish state in December 2017, breaking with decades of international consensus that the city’s status should be decided in peace talks.

Both Washington and Israel have since encouraged other countries to take similar steps.

So far only Guatemala and Paraguay have transferred their embassies, and Paraguay later reversed its decision.

On Tuesday, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez announced that his country would open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.

The mission will be an extension of Honduras’ Tel Aviv-based embassy, but Hernandez said Tuesday it was “recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

In a statement Thursday, the Palestinian foreign ministry confirmed it would submit a formal complaint against Honduras to the UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

It called the decision a “direct aggression” against the Palestinian people and a “blatant violation of international law and legitimacy.”

Israel occupied predominantly Palestinian east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in moves never recognised by the international community.

Around 200,000 Israelis now live in east Jerusalem in settlements considered illegal by much of the international community.

In a statement, senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said the leadership would “reassess its relationship with Honduras”.

“The status of Jerusalem as an occupied city is endorsed by the vast majority of states, in line with their standing legal and moral obligations to uphold international law,” she added.

Hernandez is expected to visit Israel and open the new mission in the coming days.

Ashrawi also condemned the tiny Pacific Ocean island state of Nauru, which recently recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.