Palestine sues United States at UN court over Jerusalem embassy move
In a statement issued on Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said Palestine argues the 1961 Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations requires a country to locate its embassy on the territory of a host state. While Israel controls Jerusalem militarily, its ownership is disputed.
In its application, Palestine argued that the treaty dictates embassies must be established on the territory of the receiving state and that the "special status of Jerusalem" means that the US violated its international obligations when it moved its embassy.
On Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the United States to reverse its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and cuts in aid to the Palestinians, saying these had undermined the two-state solution to the conflict.
“With all of these decisions, this administration has reneged on all previous US commitments, and has undermined the two-state solution,” Abbas said in his address to the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.
On Saturday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said the complaint "comes in line with the policy of the State of Palestine, which aims to preserve the character of the holy city of Jerusalem with its unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions".
"We defend our rights and our people without hesitation and reject all forms of political and financial extortion," he was quoted as saying by Palestinian news agency Wafa.
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Decisions by the ICJ are binding, but the court has no power to enforce them and countries, including the United States, have in the past ignored its rulings.
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