Trump’s Quds Decision Runs Counter to International Law

Nasrollah Tajik
Nasrollah Tajik

An analyst said the recent US decision to recognize Beit-ul-Moqaddas (Jerusalem) as the Israeli capital is against international law and aims to legitimize the Israeli regime’s occupation of the holy city.

“[US President Donald] Trump’s recognition of Beit-ul-Moqaddas is a stamp of approval to the occupation of a city which, according to UN resolutions, is regarded as ‘international’ and ‘occupied’ land,” ICANA quoted former diplomat, Nasrollah Tajik, in a recent talk.

He noted that Trump’s action itself is an illegal move under international law, pointing out that the Palestinian Authority could take legal action in the United Nations and its affiliated institutions.

The original 1947 United Nations partition plan that created Israel called for Beit-ul-Moqaddas to be “internationalized”, but that arrangement was subverted when the Israel regime annexed the east of the holy city after it triggered the 1967 Six-Day War.

Article 49 (6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention states, “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

In a resolution of September 1969, United Nations Security Council called upon “Israel to scrupulously observe the provisions of the Geneva Convention and international law governing military occupation”.

In December 1992, the UN Security Council “reaffirm[ed] the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, to all the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”.

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross, London-based Amnesty International, New York-based Human Rights Watch, Israel-based B’Tselem, the International Court of Justice (judicial arm of the UN) have all contributed to the international consensus on the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied territories.

Israel disagrees, claiming that East Beit-ul-Moqaddas is not an occupied territory but a disputed territory. There are scholars who support Israeli actions in manners very unbecoming of scholars.

Since 1967, the UN Resolution 242—supported by the US—has called for the removal of Israeli military forces from territories captured in 1967.

  US No Peace Broker

Tajik said Trump’s action all but ended the so-called role of Washington as a peace broker.

“Washington can no longer claim it has an impartial role here. From now on, the US is a party [aligned with the Israeli regime] to the dispute,” Tajik said.

In his declaration last week that the US would recognize Beit-ul-Moqaddas as the Israeli capital, Trump upended seven decades of US foreign policy that tried to broker peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

The US Congress passed a law in 1995, called the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which described Beit-ul-Moqaddas as the capital of Israel and said it should not be divided. That law required the US Embassy to be moved to the city from Tel Aviv by 1999.

But this has not happened because every six months, successive presidents have signed a waiver to keep the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to back negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to reach a lasting peace.

Trump, however, reversed that order.

  Two-State Solution Doomed

Tajik said the recognition of Beit-ul-Moqaddas in fact drove the last nail in the coffin of the so-called “two-state” solution.

“The Palestinians have now realized that there is no solution to resolve the Palestinian issue but a general resistance and intifada [uprising] both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” he said.

Two-state solution, endorsed by the UN, supports an independent state of Palestine coexisting alongside Israel. For this to succeed, Israel should hand over East Beit-ul-Moqaddas to Palestine and dismantle its illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Tajik also criticized Muslim countries for their inaction toward the US decision, adding that many of them are complicit in the plight of Palestinians.

While the international community has almost unanimously opposed Trump’s announcement, reports published in Middle East Monitor suggest that the announcement was done with the pre-agreement of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with the Saudi Arabia going as far as stating to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accept a village on the outskirts of Beit-ul-Moqaddas as the alternative Palestinian capital.

In addition, the state-appointed Saudi imams of the grand mosques in Mecca and Medina have not mentioned the situation in Beit-ul-Moqaddas in their sermons, which indicate the Saudi regime’s diktat stifling any dissent over its recent collusion with the enemies of Palestinian Muslims.

As Palestinians cannot pin their hopes on these so-called Saudi Islamic leaders who have sold out Muslim interests to appease the enemies of Islam, Tajik said, “If there is any solution, it is within a popular uprising. The new circumstances and the quasi-government of Palestinian Authority, which is a caricature of governance, would drive Palestinians toward forming a real government over the whole Palestinian land.”

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