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PA, Hamas condemn Kosovo for opening embassy in Jerusalem

Jordan, Turkey also speak out against first Muslim-majority territory to recognize city as Israel’s capital

Illustrative: A Kosovo government official takes a self-photo during a signing ceremony held digitally, in the capital Pristina, establishing diplomatic ties between Kosovo and Israel, February 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Illustrative: A Kosovo government official takes a self-photo during a signing ceremony held digitally, in the capital Pristina, establishing diplomatic ties between Kosovo and Israel, February 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

Palestinian representatives on Monday condemned Kosovo for opening an embassy in Jerusalem, after it became the first Muslim-majority territory to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

Kosovo, which formally opened the embassy on Sunday, made the move in exchange for Israel recognizing the independence it declared in 2008, following a war with Serbia in the 1990s.

The Palestinians, who claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, have fiercely criticized Kosovo over the move.

It is “a violation of international law,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted as saying by the official WAFA news agency.

The Hamas Islamist terror organization, which controls the Gaza Strip, also blasted Kosovo, accusing it of “appalling bias” in favor of Israel.

Turkey had criticized the embassy opening Sunday.

On Monday, Jordan’s foreign ministry spokesman Dhaifallah Ali Al-Fayez said any moves to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital were “null… and have no legal effect.”

The official embassy opening on Sunday included a brief ceremony during which Kosovo’s flag was raised in front of the building in Jerusalem.

Serbia has refused to acknowledge the independence of its former province, so while Kosovo has now been recognized by much of the Western world, its rejection by Belgrade’s key allies, Russia and China, has locked it out of the United Nations.

Israel had been another key holdout until last month, when it established diplomatic ties with Kosovo.

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