Dr. Saeb Erekat on Nakba Day and the Moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem

Press Releases
May 14, 2018

Palestine's Nakba didn't end in 1948. As the Palestinian people continue to endure 70 years of ongoing Nakba, ethnic cleansing and exile, as well as over 50 years of occupation, the US administration has chosen to celebrate it by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on the eve of May 15, when Palestinians mark 70 years of Nakba. This infamous hostile act against international law and against the people of Palestine places the US on the side of the occupying power, Israel, which continues to oppress the Palestinian people and to colonize their lands towards destroying the very possibility of reaching a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. 

Just as it previously did with UNESCO and by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Trump Administration is promoting international anarchy by supporting Israel and its blatant and systematic violations of international legitimacy resolutions. Also, Guatemala and Paraguay have chosen to stand on the wrong side of history by violating their very responsibilities under the UN Charter.

UNSCR 478 asserts that states should not have their embassies to Israel in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, a number of countries have decided to join the US and Israel in yesterday's reception celebrating the very violation of this resolution by the Trump Administration. Those countries have not only violated their own obligations not to take action that may be seen as tantamount to recognition of the commitment of an illegal act, but they have also insulted our nation as over 12 million Palestinians worldwide mourn the Nakba.

By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and by moving its embassy to Jerusalem, the US administration is encouraging Israel's occupation and its colonial settlement enterprise, as well as its continued violations of the national and human rights of the people of Palestine. Henceforth, the international community has the obligation to take immediate action in upholding the universal values of liberty, dignity, freedom, and security of all. 

As we mourn 70 years of Nakba, we remain committed to the vision of peace presented by President Abbas at the Security Council towards the fulfillment of our internationally recognized rights, including the return of Palestinian refugees, in accordance with UNGA resolution 194, and self-determination through the State of Palestine, free and independent, on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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