W. Bank Palestinians demonstrate outside Brazil embassy

By Qais Abu Samra

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Dozens of Palestinians on Wednesday demonstrated outside Brazil’s Palestine embassy in the West Bank city of Ramallah to urge Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro not to relocate his country's Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Chanting slogans in support of the Palestinian national cause, demonstrators also demanded recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.

Issam Abu Bakr, coordinator of the Palestinian Factions Committee, a Ramallah-based NGO, urged Bolsonaro “not to carry through with his campaign promise to move Brazil’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem”.

“Brazil has always supported Palestinian national aspirations,” Abu Bakr told Anadolu Agency. “It [Brazil] should abide by international law.”

Wednesday’s protest, he said, would be the first in a series of planned demonstrations against the planned move by Bolsonaro.

Last month, Bolsonaro announced his intention to move his country’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem once he formally assumes the presidency.

Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump sparked a world outcry after announcing plans to move Washington’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital, which he did earlier this year.

Since then, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has rejected any mediating role by the U.S. in the moribund Middle East peace process.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Mideast conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.