The Europeans for al-Quds association strongly condemns the statements of the Ukrainian ambassador, Yevgen Korniychuk, in Israel, as he announced that his country may recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel soon and that it would move its embassy to Jerusalem.
Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk made the remarks at an event held by an Israeli minister in Jerusalem marking 30 years of Israeli-Ukrainian relations, claiming that “every foreign minister or ambassador can name Jerusalem nothing, but the capital of Israel.” He added that his county would open a branch of its embassy in Jerusalem within months.
The ambassador’s position contradicts the declared positions of Ukraine so far and the European Union regarding the city of East Jerusalem. Therefor, it is necessary to take a quick position to correct the matter and take appropriate action against the diplomat who launched these statements.
It is unfortunate that the statement of the Ukrainian ambassador comes at a time when Israel has stepped up its operations to change the demographic reality and the Arab-Islamic identity of the occupied city of Jerusalem in the widest process of ethnic cleansing and through policies that amount to apartheid through demolitions and confiscation of Palestinian homes and giving the settlement associations their ownership.
As Europeans for al-Quds association deplores these remarks, it calls on the Government of Ukraine to declare a clear position that withdraws these statements, which constitute a flagrant violation of the legal status of Jerusalem as part of the occupied Palestinian territory in accordance with international law, based on established historical rights, United Nations and International Court of Justice resolutions, and with the recognition and approval of the majority of the world’s countries, as 154 countries voted to recognize the state of Palestine on the occupied lands in 1967, which include Jerusalem.
The international community affirms that Jerusalem is an occupied territory and that embassies are not supposed to be established in the city as long as its status is not decided through negotiations between the two concerned sides. In this regard, we recall that the UN Security Council voted on December 18, 2017, to reject the declaration of former US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and it was approved by all Council member states, except for the United States, which vetoed it.
The Security Council has previously issued 12 resolutions confirming that Jerusalem is an occupied territory by the Israeli occupation authorities. Eight of the resolutions stipulate that all procedures or changes in the legal status of the city are illegal and the need to withdraw Israeli forces from it. The other four demand the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied land in 1967, including Jerusalem, as the first of which was Security Council Resolution 242.
Europeans for al-Quds warn that any change in the Ukrainian position would encourage Israel to continue imposing its full control over the Islamic and Christian holy sites in the occupied city. In addition, it would support the occupation policy based on Judaization, displacement and annexation of lands, which would increase the daily suffering of the Jerusalemites.