Palestine’s envoy to the UN has said there will be repercussions should President-elect Donald Trump follow through on promises he made during his campaign to move America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s permanent observer to the UN, said he could make life “miserable” for US diplomats if the move takes place, the Times of Israel reports. “If people attack us by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, which is a violation of Security Council resolutions, it is a violation of resolution 181 of the UN general assembly that was drafted by the US … it means they are showing belligerency towards us,” Mansour said during the annual conference of the Palestine Center in Washington November 11, Haaretz reports.
“If they do that nobody should blame us for unleashing all of the weapons that we have in the UN to defend ourselves, and we have a lot of weapons in the UN.” During his presidential campaign, Trump and some of his advisers said they would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would move the US embassy there. During a September meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump reiterated his stance that Jerusalem “is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” Trump’s adviser on Israel, Jason Greenblatt, confirmed that position in an interview with Army Radio after the election, Haaretz reports. Netanyahu was one of the first leaders Trump spoke to after his election victory. International law finds Israel’s ongoing occupation of East Jerusalem, which began in 1967, to be illegal. Most countries have embassies in Tel Aviv and consulates in Jerusalem.
“If the US administration wants to defy international law they are doing something illegal. I hope they will do nothing,” Mansour said, Maan News reports. “Many candidates gave the same election promise but didn’t implement it because what you do when you are campaigning is one thing but when you have to deal with the legal thing it is something else.” The Palestinian representative acknowledged that he could not respond with a UN Security Council resolution on the issue, because the US would veto it, but that he could force the US to use its veto instead over the Palestinian Authority’s admission as a member state or “reopen the whole Pandora’s Box” of International Criminal Court rulings on illegal Israeli settlements and the separation wall.