ibusinesslines.com November 17, 2018

Brazil's Bolsonaro follows in Trump's footsteps on Jerusalem embassy move

03 November 2018, 06:01 | Kelvin Horton

Brazil's Bolsonaro wants Israel embassy moved to Jerusalem

Jair Bolsonaro far-right lawmaker and presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party, gestures to supporters during the second round of the presidential elections in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Israel considers the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a hoped-for Palestinian state.

Earlier this year the US President Donald Trump ordered the US embassy moved to Jerusalem, and Guatemala followed suit.

Netanyahu, who has called Bolsonaro his "friend" and invited him to visit Israel, called it a "historic, correct and exciting step".

"These are provocative and illegal steps that will only destabilize security and stability in the region", Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee, told AFP.

The United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem in May, enraging Palestinians and key Muslim leaders.

"As previously stated during our campaign, we intend to transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem".

'Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that'.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Bolsonaro's plan.

The Palestinians cut off ties with the Trump administration after the decision was first announced in December 2017, saying the government's pro-Israel bias meant it could no longer lead peace negotiations between themselves and Israel.

Paraguay briefly moved its embassy to Jerusalem only to move it back to Tel Aviv after its new president, Mario Abdo Benitez, was elected.

"We reject the Brazilian president-elect's decision to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds", Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, wrote on his official Twitter page on Friday.

Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, with global consensus being that the status of the whole city must be negotiated between the two sides.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war - as the capital of a future state.

Palestinians say that moving the embassy would prejudge one of the most sensitive issues in the conflict - the status of Jerusalem - and undermine the US' status as an honest mediator.

Bolsonaro, 63, who won a runoff election on Sunday, has outraged many with his overtly misogynistic and racist rhetoric.

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