Statement by JAI, YMCA and YWCA of Palestine partner in Switzerland, YMCA-YWCA Switzerland related:
The announcement by US president Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and to move the US embassy there has not only intensified tensions in the Middle East, but has also caused criticism and rejection worldwide. With this action, the US is violating its obligations under international law.
President Trump justified the decision with the 1995 resolution of the US Congress, which called on the US government to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump is also trying to make a name for himself in domestic politics. After all, he is fulfilling an election promise, which may raise his popularity among evangelical voters. The US President also believes that this decision is conducive to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
However, there is an international consensus that Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem is illegal. Several resolutions by the UN Security Council confirm that. For example, Resolution 478 of 1980 voids the Israeli "basic law" on Jerusalem, which proclaims that annexation. In addition, this resolution calls on all UN member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem. Resolution 2334 of 2016 also reaffirms that a change of the 1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, is not admissible. In its actions, the USA disregard these UN Security Council resolutions and violate the responsibility under international law that no state should recognize or support an illegal situation.
The US decision is probably not conducive to the Middle East peace process, at least in the short term. According to Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator of the Palestinian Authority, the decision is tantamount to destroying the long-lasting peace process. Erekat went on to say that the USA had no longer the right to play a role in this process. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs is also of the opinion that this recognition "constitutes an obstacle to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on a negotiated two-state solution".
Horyzon and its partner organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories condemn this unilateral action by the USA. We welcome the fact that the Swiss Federal Council shares our assessment and we encourage it to continue its commitment to a comprehensive negotiated solution that guarantees the rights of all people living in Israel/Palestine.