New Czech embassy in Jerusalem angers Arab League, Palestinians

Arab League and Palestinian Authority fume as another country opens an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

By World Israel News Staff

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and the Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry both issued angry condemnations of the Czech Republic Saturday after the European country became the latest nation to open an embassy in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem.

In a statement issued in Cairo, Aboul-Gheit slammed the Czech move as being a “violation of international law and the established European policy on this issue.”

On Thursday, visiting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi held a ceremony to officially open the Jerusalem office of the Czech embassy, joining Hungary as the second European country to open an embassy in Jerusalem.

“This act does not help peace and violates Palestinian rights in the occupied city. The status of Jerusalem is one of the final solution issues that are negotiated and cannot be determined in advance through unilateral actions,” the Arab League said in a statement posted on its Facebook page,” adding that “this fact is not affected by the actions of some countries that chose interests over principles.”

In Ramallah, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry called the decision of the Czechs “a blatant attack on the Palestinian people and their rights,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported, adding the office had opened despite Palestinian demands for the “Czechs to retract their dangerous decision.”

After the ceremony, Babis tweeted that the opening was the fulfillment of the promise made during a 2018 visit to Israel by Czech President Miloš Zeman to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel.

“It is a great honor for me and, above all, another important step in the friendly relations between our two countries,” Babis said.

“I am happy to see that the changes in the Middle East are based on a recognition of the reality and historical truth that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” said Ashkenazi. “The Czech Republic is a close friend of Israel, and we work together in many different fields.”