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Church Leaders: Moving British Embassy to Jerusalem ‘Counterproductive’

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A file photo shows Israel Police vans parked outside the British Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv. (SNC photo by Gil Cohen Magen, Reuters)

By Judith Sudilovsky

JERUSALEM – Christian patriarchs and church leaders in Jerusalem have noted “with grave concern” British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ call for her government to consider moving the British Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In an October 10 statement, church leaders called the embassy review “an additional obstacle to advancing the already moribund peace process.”

“Rather than committing precious government resources to such a counterproductive endeavor, we encourage the British Prime Minister and government to redouble diplomatic efforts to facilitate the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” they said. they stated.

Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

The request for a review of the embassy move was made by conservative friends of Israel, the bishops said.

The British government and most other countries have maintained their embassies in Tel Aviv, pending a final agreement on “Corpus separatum”, granting Jerusalem special status as a holy city for Christians, Muslims and the Jews. This special status aims to safeguard freedom of religion, respect for and access to holy places in Jerusalem and its sanctity as a holy city.

“The proposed move of the British Embassy to Jerusalem would seriously undermine this key principle of Corpus separatum and the political negotiations it seeks to advance,” church leaders said.

In 2018, US President Donald Trump moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; a handful of countries, including Guatemala and Honduras, have followed suit.