Published: 2018-09-30 00:52
Last Updated: 2018-09-30 09:49
Foreign Minister Riad Malki said in a statement on Saturday that the State of Palestine has formally filed a lawsuit against the US at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for breaking international law in May by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The ICJ is the main judicial body of the United Nations.
Malki said in a press statement that “the case was based on Palestine’s membership in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries, specifically the Optional Protocol concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes,” reported WAFA.
The minister had sent the US a letter last May requesting the US State Department not to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, however, the US failed to respond to the letter and violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Security Council resolutions by moving its embassy.
Malki said that he sent the letter to follow the correct procedures for filing a lawsuit with the ICJ. The US was officially informed of misconduct and the existence of a legal dispute on July 4.
The State of Palestine has asked the ICJ to “declare that moving the embassy to occupied Jerusalem constituted a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and to order the United States to take its diplomatic mission out of Jerusalem and comply with its international obligations in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, as well as taking the necessary measures to comply with its obligations and refrain from taking any future steps that may violate its obligations and provide the necessary guarantees for non-repetition of its unlawful action,” according to WAFA.
Malki noted that filing a lawsuit against the US is his country’s right as a member of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
"We defend our rights and our people without hesitation and reject all forms of political and financial extortion," he said.
"This step 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," said Malki.
He added that “the international community and international law have consistently rejected all attempts by Israel, the Occupying Power, to change the character and status of Jerusalem since all resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council have consistently affirmed that any action or decision aimed at changing the status or demographic character of Jerusalem is null and void and has no legal value."