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Al-Haq and Conectas Send Letters to Brazilian Representatives Warning Against Relocation of Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem

Wednesday, 03 April 2019 16:23 Date: 3/4/2019
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Al-Haq and Conectas Send Letters to Brazilian Representatives Warning Against Relocation of Brazilian Embassy to JerusalemOn Monday morning, 1 April 2019, Al-Haq and Conectas, a Brazilian human rights organisation, sent a letter addressed to the Brazilian Representative Office in the State of Palestine and the Embassy of Brazil in Tel Aviv, in light of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s recent visit to Israel. The letter warned against Brazil’s recent and unprecedent policy shift towards the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including on Jerusalem and accountability under UN Human Rights Council, agenda Item 2, and its consequences in failing to respect and implement international law in this regard.

On Sunday 31 March 2019, President Bolsonaro commenced a three-day visit to Israel, during which he signed five cooperation agreements, notably on defense, security and new technologies. In addition, Bolsonaro announced the opening of a diplomatic bureau of commercial affairs based in Jerusalem. According to Israeli President Benyamin Netanyahou, the Brazilian bureau is a “first step toward the Brazilian Embassy move to Jerusalem”.[1] In the joint letter sent to the Brazilian diplomatic missions, Al-Haq and Conectas warned that such a decision would contravene Jerusalem’s internationally recognised status and international law, primarily Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 478 (1980),[2] and UN General Assembly resolution of December 2018 which reaffirmed that any decisions or actions made to alter the character or status of Jerusalem are null and void.[3]

According to media reports, on Monday 1 April, President Bolsonaro visited the old city of Jerusalem as part of his visit to Israel,[4] representing an evident gesture toward a tacit recognition of Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. In their letter, Al-Haq and Conectas reminded Brazil of its obligation as third State to not recognize unlawful situations, including the annexation of occupied territory such as that carried out by Israel in Jerusalem. Additionally, and by stressing the impact of Israel’s occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem on the occupied Palestinian population for more than five decades, the organizations call upon the Brazilian representatives to urge Mr. Bolsonaro to maintain Jerusalem’s special status and refrain from relocating the Embassy of Brazil thereto, or from introducing any kind of diplomatic presence therein. States, including Brazil, must fulfil their obligations to ensure the protection of the occupied Palestinian population and ensure that their rights are respected, protected and genuinely realised, including their fundamental right to self-determination.

Furthermore, Al-Haq and Conectas denounced Brazil’s recent vote at the UN Human Rights Council 40th regular session, against the resolution on accountability within the context of the Great Return March under agenda Item 2. The letter stressed that this unprecedented vote undermines Palestinian rights, including the fundamental right to life, and the right to freedom of assembly and expression, and further fosters the culture of impunity cultivated and enjoyed by Israel, its military forces and agents.

[1] RFI, « Jair Bolsonaro vient appuyer Benyamin Netanyahu en Israël » (30 March 2019) http://www.rfi.fr/moyen-orient/20190331-visite-israel-bolsonaro-netanyahu-legislatives-soutien accessed 2 April 2019.

[2] UN Security Council Resolution, S/RES/478 (20 Aug 1980).

[3] UN General Assembly Resolution ES-10/19, A/RES/ES-10/19 (21 Dec 2017).

[4] I24News, “Brazil’s Bolsonaro Makes Landmark Visit to Western Wall Accompanied by Netanyahu” (20 April 2019) https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/1554116074-brazil-s-bolsonaro-to-visit-western-wall-accompanied-by-netanyahu accessed 2 April 2019.

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