Palestinians to file complaint over Honduras Jerusalem move
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Palestinians to file complaint over Honduras Jerusalem move

PLO says it will ‘reassess its relationship’ with the Central American nation, whose president announced recognition of Israel’s capital this week

File: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, left, meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at UN headquarters, February 20, 2018 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images via JTA)
File: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, left, meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at UN headquarters, February 20, 2018 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images via JTA)

The Palestinian foreign ministry said Thursday it will file a complaint at the United Nations against Honduras, after the Central American state recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem its undivided capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state.

US President Donald Trump recognized an unspecified part of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state in December 2017, breaking with a decades-long policy in the US and elsewhere that recognition could come only as part of peace talks.

Both the US and Israel have since encouraged other countries to take similar steps.

So far only the US, Guatemala and Paraguay transferred their embassies, and Paraguay later reversed its decision after a change in government in Asuncion.

File: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, meets with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez in Jerusalem on October 29, 2015. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

On Tuesday, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez announced that his country would open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.

The mission will be an extension of Honduras’s Tel Aviv-based embassy, but Hernandez said Tuesday it was “recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

In a statement Thursday, the Palestinian foreign ministry confirmed it would submit a formal complaint against Honduras to the UN’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

It called the decision a “direct aggression” against the Palestinian people and a “blatant violation of international law and legitimacy.”

Israel captured predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it, in a move never recognized by the international community.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi speaks at a press conference in Ramallah on February 24, 2015. (WAFA/File)

Around 200,000 Israelis now live in Jerusalem neighborhoods that lie over the pre-1967 line, which are considered illegal settlements by much of the international community. That includes Jerusalem’s Old City, which houses the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site and the third-holiest place in Islam.

In a statement, senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said Thursday the leadership would “reassess its relationship with Honduras.”

“The status of Jerusalem as an occupied city is endorsed by the vast majority of states, in line with their standing legal and moral obligations to uphold international law,” she added.

Hernandez is expected to visit Israel and open the new mission in the coming days.

Ashrawi also condemned the tiny Pacific island state of Nauru, which recently recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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