LONDON – A Palestinian rights group has warned the British prime minister that if the UK announces the relocation of its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, it would seek a judicial review.
The International Centre for Justice for Palestinians sent Liz Truss a detailed legal opinion written by human rights law company Bindmans LLP and four barristers from Essex Court Chambers and Doughty Street Chambers.
It comes after Truss informed Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapin in September that the UK was evaluating the location of the embassy.
Her statement sparked international outrage and was slammed by 50 British Jewish youth leaders, many Arab embassies in the UK, and Conservative Party members. Former Prime Minister William Hague and Conservative Friends of Israel treasurer Alistair Burt have both spoken out against any move.
The ICJP letter piles more pressure on a prime minister who has already wrecked the economy in her first weeks in office with an unfunded mini-budget that cuts taxes for the wealthy.
“This opinion of independent legal counsel, experts in their field, reinforces the massive concentration of diplomatic, religious, and political concern over the review surrounding the relocation of the UK’s embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Crispin Blunt, a Conservative MP and ICJP director, said.
“The UK’s apparent serious consideration of this is already causing serious reputational damage, not least to our inherited responsibilities to be at least balanced to Palestinian aspirations that have been so betrayed in the grim reality that has followed in the century since the Balfour Declaration.”
The ICJP’s independent legal judgment addresses Jerusalem’s special status under international law, as well as the international legal implications of relocation.
It claims that there are strong grounds to believe that such a shift would indicate recognition of Israel’s claim, as stated in its Basic Law of 1980, that the city is “complete and unified” as its capital.
The UN General Assembly and Security Council have repeatedly ruled the statement unlawful, claiming that the statute violates international law.
The legal judgment further warns that such a move would contravene Britain’s Geneva Treaties responsibilities to “not promote, help, or assist another state in breaking the conventions.”
“The prime minister has demonstrated over the last several weeks the hazards of hastily introducing measures that are not thought through and without sufficient consultation,” said Tayab Ali, an ICJP director and partner at Bindmans LLP. The prime minister should not tackle international issues in the same manner.
“As a country, we cannot promote the Ukrainian fight for freedom… and then establish policies for Israel that contradicts Britain’s statement of the primacy of international law and the UN charter.” The repercussions of such recklessness would be unfathomable.”
Source: Arab News