Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Palestinians condemn 'provocative' Brazil embassy move to Jerusalem

Palestinians condemn 'provocative' Brazil embassy move to Jerusalem

Trump moved the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem earlier this year, a controversial decision that showed the world the US believes Jerusalem is Israel's capital despite Palestine also claiming the ancient city as its capital.

But Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi told AFP news agency such "provocative and illegal steps. will only destabilise security and stability in the region".

Bolsonaro was elected as Brazil's next president on Oct.28 and plans to take office on January 1.

Asked in an interview with Israel Hayom published on Thursday if he would move Brazil's embassy, as he had indicated during his campaign, Bolsonaro said Israel should decide where its capital is located.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, quickly welcomed the plan and issued a statement, praising the decision. "Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that", Bolsonaro tweeted.

The embassy was officially transferred on May 14, with Guatemala and Paraguay following suit, though the latter announced last month it was returning its embassy to Tel Aviv.

The Palestinians cut off ties with the Trump administration after the decision was first announced in December 2017, saying the government's pro-Israel bias meant it could no longer lead peace negotiations between themselves and Israel.

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The Palestinians regard the eastern sector of Jerusalem - which Israel annexed in the1967 Middle East war - as the capital of a future Palestine state.

Despite the vote, the U.S. went ahead with the embassy transfer on May 14, triggering demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

The global community does not recognise Israel's jurisdiction and ownership of the city.

Guatemala and Paraguay followed the USA example, but Paraguay cancelled the move after Mario Abdo Benitez was sworn in as president in August.

Those countries say that the status of Jerusalem is something that should be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Bolsonaro, 63, who won a run-off election on Sunday, has outraged many with his overtly misogynistic, homophobic and racist rhetoric.

Brazil would become the second major country after the United States to do so.

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