Palestine files complaint over U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

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Palestine filed a complaint against the United States with the United Nations top court over Washington's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Saturday the Palestinians have petitioned the UN's top court, alleging that the U.S. inauguration of an embassy in Jerusalem was illegal.

Contact between the Palestinians and the Trump administration have since been tense and minimal.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem along with the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and later declared the entire city its united capital.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said Saturday that the Palestinians have petitioned the UN's top court, alleging that the May inauguration of the United States embassy in Jerusalem was illegal.

He added that he rejected anything short of all of east Jerusalem, including the Old City with all its holy places, as the capital of a Palestinian state, and not just a neighborhood, as the Americans reportedly plan on proposing.

United Nations resolutions call on countries to refrain from moving their embassies to the city until its status is resolved in an Israeli-Palestinian deal.

In December, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite Palestinian claims on part of the city and breaking with longstanding US policy.

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During his speech this week at the UN General Assembly, Abbas slammed Trump for his policies toward the Palestinians, calling them an "assault on global law", and further rejected Washington as a mediator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The United Nations' principal judicial organ announced in a statement on Friday that the Palestinian suit had requested the court "to order the United States of America to withdraw (its) diplomatic mission from the Holy City of Jerusalem al-Quds".

The ICJ, known as the World Court, said in a statement Palestine argues the 1961 Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations requires a country to locate its embassy on the territory of a host state.

Ralph Wilde, an global lawyer based at the University College London, said the court must rule if Palestine is deemed a nation state. "The court's jurisdiction will only be possible if it can conclude that Palestine meets the worldwide law test for statehood".

In 2004, the court issued a non-binding ruling that the network of walls and fences was illegal and called for sections to be dismantled.

Israel said it had no intention of complying.

Earlier this month, Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians had filed a petition there against Israel over its pending demolition of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank.

The US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, a day marked by mass protest in the Gaza Strip, where about 60 Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli fire in border clashes.

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