A British newspaper reported that British Prime Minister Liz Truss is considering moving her country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Watchman. And in doing so, it will break with established British foreign policy and follow in the footsteps of former US President Donald Trump.
At a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Truss told Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid an “assessment of the current location” of the embassy, according to the British newspaper. The status of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital, is one of the most sensitive issues in the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine.
And the Israeli prime minister tweeted, Thursday, his thanks to Truss for what he described as “positive thinking” about the move. “We will continue to strengthen the partnership between the two countries,” he said.
The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as their capital. Israel has controlled the entire city since 1967 and declared all of Jerusalem the capital of the country in 1980. According to the United Nations, the annexation of East Jerusalem violates international law.
Like the vast majority of the international community, the UK’s position so far has been that Jerusalem should house consulates rather than embassies, until a final peace agreement is reached.
In 2018, then-US President Trump fulfilled his campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which was condemned by the international community and sparked violent protests. More than 200 people were shot dead during a demonstration in the Gaza Strip. The move was criticized by then British Prime Minister Theresa May at the time.
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