London (IP) - The head of the Palestinian mission to London has blasted a recent statement by British Prime Minister to Israeli Prime Minister, saying she will “review” the location of the UK embassy in Israel, as “immoral, illegal and irresponsible.”

Iran PressMiddle East: The Palestinian diplomat, Husam Zomlot, who heads the mission to the UK and serves as an advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called it “extremely unfortunate” that the British Prime Minister Liz Truss used “her first appearance at the UN” to “commit to potentially breaking international law.”

Earlier this week, Truss told the Israeli Prime Minister Yari Lapid about a “review of the current location” of the British diplomatic mission as the two met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Downing Street said in a statement.

Lapid then thanked the British Prime Minister for “positively considering moving the British Embassy to al-Quds” in a tweet on Thursday. The news drew the ire of the Palestinian authorities. 

“Any embassy move would be a blatant violation of international law [and] the UK's historic responsibilities,” Zomlot said in a series of fiery tweets.

Such actions would undermine the two-state solution and lead to an escalation of tensions in the occupied holy city of al-Quds and even in the UK itself, the diplomat warned. The British authorities have so far not commented on the timing of the “review.” 

Some Palestinians described the move as “a new Balfour Declaration” and said it proves Britain’s bias in favor of the Israeli regime.

The Balfour Declaration came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community. It was published on November 2, 1917.

The declaration was made during World War I (1914-1918) and was included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

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It is widely seen as the precursor to the 1948 Palestinian Nakba, when Zionist armed paramilitary groups, who were trained and created to fight side by side with the British in World War II, forcibly expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland. 

A similar move by the US under its previous President, Donald Trump, led to a major fallout in relations with Palestine. Trump sparked controversy by officially recognizing al-Quds as the Israeli ‘capital’ in December 2017, before moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv in May 2018.

Israel lays claim to the entire al-Quds, but the international community views the city’s eastern sector as occupied territory and Palestinians consider it the capital of their future state.


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