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Palestine recalls envoys to 4 EU nations after US embassy move

Updated May 16, 2018

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas adresses the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 14, 2018. — AFP
Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas adresses the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 14, 2018. — AFP

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has recalled its envoys to Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria after their ambassadors attended an Israeli reception marking the United States (US) embassy's move to Jerusalem, it said on Wednesday.

The statement from the PA's foreign ministry said ambassadors of the European Union (EU) nations had attended the reception on Sunday, a day before the US opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem.

The embassy move and Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has deeply angered Palestinians, who see the Israeli-annexed eastern sector of the city as the capital of their future state.

The ministry “sees this participation as a grave breach of international law and United Nations resolutions which confirm that Jerusalem has been occupied since 1967 and ban countries from moving their embassies there,” the statement said.

“The recalls are to consult with our ambassadors to these states about their positions and their commitment to the EU's positions.”

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday withdrew his top envoy to Washington.

The EU opposed the US move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The embassy move was accompanied by mass protests and clashes along the Gaza border that saw Israeli forces kill at least 60 Palestinians.

Israel has faced international criticism over its use of live fire against demonstrators.

It says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop mass infiltrations from the Palestinian enclave, which is run by Hamas.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community. It sees the entire city as its capital.