Palestinians: Brazil embassy move to Jerusalem 'hostile', 'illegal step'

Cheryl Sanders
November 4, 2018

Jerusalem is a disputed city as Palestinians regard East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, as the capital of the future independent state they demand.

Some on Mr Bolsonaro's team would even like Mr Moro to run for the presidency in 2022, according to a report by a Folha de S. Paulo newspaper columnist on Thursday. "When I was asked during the campaign if I'll do it [relocate the embassy] when I was president, I said yes, and that you're the ones who decide on the capital of Israel, not other people".

Mr Netanyahu praised it as "historic, [and] correct".

A Brazilian judge who jailed popular ex-President Lula for corruption, knocking him out of the election and helping far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro win the race, has been appointed the country's new justice minister.

Paraguay also relocated its embassy, only to move it back to Tel Aviv following the election of the country's new President, Mario Abdo Benítez.

He has stated that his first worldwide trip as president will be to Israel.

The United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, sparking fury among Palestinians, who consider the Israeli-annexed eastern part of the city the capital of their future state.

If he takes action, Brazil would become the third country to make this choice, after Guatemala and especially the United States, whose decision, breaking with decades of us diplomacy, has ulcerated the Palestinians.

The move from Tel Aviv, which will defy Palestinians and most of the world, is the latest controversial announcement by the former army captain, who has wasted no time implementing his hardline conservative agenda since his election win on Sunday.

On the diplomatic front, the embassy move squarely aligns him with US President Donald Trump, and bolsters his image as a "Tropical Trump".

Trump moved the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem earlier this year, a controversial decision that showed the world the US believes Jerusalem is Israel's capital despite Palestine also claiming the ancient city as its capital.

Bolsonaro also said that he meant to shift the Palestinian Embassy in Brasilia, saying, "It was built too close to the presidential palace".

The level of corruption was breathtaking for Brazilians long inured to graft, and the scandal has reverberated across several Latin American countries where Odebrecht, one of the companies at the center of the scandal, did business.

The president-elect scored a clear political victory with the appointment of Moro, who gained cult following in Brazil after he locked up a string of politicians and businessmen.

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