Palestinians recall envoys from US and nations that celebrated Jerusalem embassy move

Palestinian envoys to the US, Romania, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary were instructed to return to Ramallah for “consultations.”

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Furious with four European countries that sent envoys to a Foreign Ministry-hosted reception earlier in the week to celebrate the new American embassy in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority (PA) recalled its ambassadors Wednesday for “consultations.”

This followed a similar move on Tuesday when PA President Mahmoud Abbas recalled the Palestinian envoy to the US, Husam Zomlot, whose official position is the Palestine Liberation Organization’s chief representative in Washington.

Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania are all members of the European Union, but they broke with the EU’s official stance on the US move, which is highly negative. They also recently blocked an EU statement criticizing the Trump administration’s embassy decision. Foreign policy statements must be unanimously agreed upon by all EU countries, which meant it could not pass.

The Palestinians said they consider the diplomats’ participation in the festive event a “grave violation of international law.”

Romania’s government has expressed interest in relocating its embassy to Israel’s capital as well, although its president, who is in charge of foreign policy, opposes the government plan. In March, the Czech foreign ministry said it recognizes western Jerusalem as the country’s capital, although it objects to making any moves at this time. The Czech president , however, has reportedly said that moving his country’s embassy to Jerusalem is a top priority.

As noted, the PA foreign ministry had already sent for its envoy to the United States on Tuesday. This recall was only the latest of a series of negative actions Ramallah officials have taken since President Donald Trump announced in December that he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv. Ambassador Husam Zomlot was also recalled then, although he was back in Washington about a week later.

Immediately following the embassy ceremony on Monday, attended by a 250-strong delegation from the US and some 500 other guests including diplomats from a few dozen countries, Abbas dubbed the compound “a settlement outpost,” using language that is almost exclusively reserved by Arabs for Jewish home-building in Israel, which they consider to be illegal.