Palestinian UN Delegation Files Complaint Over Trump's Jerusalem Announcement

Security Council to convene on Friday at request of eight countries, including France, Egypt, and U.K. ■ Russia will criticize Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council, at a session on Nov 29, 2017. Mary Altaffer/AP

The Palestinian delegation to the United Nations lodged a complaint at the Security Council on Thursday against the United States in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel a day earlier.

The delegation has requested that the Security Council declare Trump's decision against international law and to work toward reversing it.

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The United Nations Security Council will convene on Friday at the request of eight countries on the 15-member body over Trump's decision, diplomats said on Wednesday.

The request for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to publicly brief the Security Council was made by France, Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, Britain and Uruguay, diplomats said.

Russia will criticize Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the meeting, the RIA news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying on Thursday.

Trump abruptly reversed decades of U.S. policy on Wednesday, generating outrage from Palestinians and defying warnings of Middle East unrest. Trump also plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in the Six-Day War and annexed, in a move never recognized internationally.

Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state, the EU's foreign policy chief said on Thursday in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

After Trump spoke on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters: “I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.”

“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B,” he said. “I will do everything in my power to support the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to meaningful negotiations.”

For her part, the American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, praised Trump’s decision as “the just and right thing to do.”

A UN Security Council resolution adopted in December last year “underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations,” referring to the borders just prior to the outbreak of the Six-Day War.

Last year's resolution was approved with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by President Barack Obama’s administration, which defied heavy pressure from Israel and from Trump, who had been elected president but had not yet taken office, for Washington to wield its veto.