The PA has filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice in The Hague against the US for moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The complaint was submitted to the court by Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki on the first anniversary of the embassy relocation.
“One year after the Trump administration carried out its provocative and illegal action, the State of Palestine continues to seek justice and accountability through the tools and mechanisms available to law-abiding and respecting states within the international system,” Malki said in a statement on Wednesday published by the PA’s official news agency Wafa.
“The State of Palestine will continue to employ all available legal and diplomatic tools to defend the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people against all illegal acts of aggression and shall not surrender to political bullying and extortion.”
The submission of the lawsuit to the international court, Malki said, “comes as a continuation of the proceedings initiated by the State of Palestine since 29 September 2018, when it filed an application to initiate action against the United States. The court, as a result, set 15 May 2019 as the date to submit these pleadings by the State of Palestine and November 15, 2019, by the US.”
The PA minister said that “the State of Palestine had based its case before the main judicial body of the United Nations on the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations on the Settlement of Disputes, which it acceded to on 22 March 2018, and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which it acceded to on 4 April 2014.”
This move, Malki added, “is an exercise by the State of Palestine of its sovereign right as a member state of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and other relevant conventions, which is another legal right that Palestine exercises to defend its rights and interests against illegal actions by the US, to protect the city of Jerusalem, and to reject all illegal and unilateral measures practiced by the current US administration.”
He pointed out that the submission of the statement of claim also coincided with the commemoration of the 71st anniversary of Nakba Day (“Catastrophe Day,” marking the anniversary of Israeli Independence Day).
“Today also marks the 71st anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba,” he said. “On this solemn day, the Palestinian leadership reaffirms its commitment to achieving justice and securing redress for decades of injustice and brutality exercised against the Palestinian people. Seventy-one years ago, the majority of the Palestinian people were uprooted and dispossessed, condemned to a status of misery and alienation. And while the manifestations of Nakba continue, the malign intent of the Nakba of erasing the Palestinian identity and denying the Palestinian people’s natural and political rights has been defeated.
“The Palestinian people stand tall and proud, supported by the overwhelming majority of the world in their just and noble cause for freedom and return. On the solemn anniversary of the Nakba, the State of Palestine reaffirms its commitment to achieving justice, freedom, and return and expresses its sincere gratitude to all peoples of conscience and advocates of peace who continue to challenge the system and policies of brutality, injustice and oppression against the Palestinian people.”
While in The Hague, Malki met separately with the International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda about the PA’s attempt to open a war crimes suit against Israel.
Bensouda’s office said the meeting took place within the “context of the Office’s ongoing independent and impartial preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine, carried out pursuant to the Rome Statute. The meeting allowed for a useful exchange in that context.”
Yonah Jeremy Bob and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.