Palestine: Trump Jerusalem Declaration dangerously ignores legal reality

US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and indicating an intention to move its embassy there, dangerously ignores long-standing international law, the ICJ said today.

Numerous United Nations Security Council’s Resolutions have reiterated the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, and have urged the withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, including East Jerusalem.

Trump’s announcement turns a blind eye on this legal reality and the related 50 years of occupation.

It also implicitly condones Israeli policies and practices that aim at altering the character and status of the Palestinian territory, including through the annexation of East Jerusalem, particularly by failing explicitly to similarly endorse Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem.

“Trump’s declaration cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of Jerusalem under international law. However, it has the potential of provoking and fuelling a new cycle of violence in the region,” said Said Benarbia, ICJ MENA Director.

Thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets to protest against Trump’s declaration. Dozens were injured in clashed with Israeli forces.

“The Israeli authorities should guarantee the right to peaceful protest and refrain from any disproportionate use of force against protesters, including the unlawful use of lethal force,” Benarbia added.


The 2016 UN SC Resolution 2334 specifically reiterate that the Security Council “will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations,” and that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solute on and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

This reaffirms a series of similar resolutions by the Security Council since 1967.

Palestine-Trump Decla-News-2017-ARA (Statement in Arabic, PDF)

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