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Czech Republic to move embassy to Jerusalem

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The President of the Czech Republic announced yesterday his country will start moving their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Miloš Zeman said the process will take place in three steps: An honorary consulate will be opened in Jerusalem next month followed by other Czech institutions before the embassy’s actual transfer. He ended his speech at a Prague Castle event to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary by saying: “Next year in Jerusalem.”

The Czech Government did not confirm the announcement, but the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Last year, the Czech Republic has already expressed its position on Jerusalem as capital of the State of Israel, in its 1967 borders.”

The Foreign Ministry added: “This step in no way prejudges the final agreement concerning Jerusalem, the same way as it is not being prejudged by diplomatic representations of several European countries that are seated in East Jerusalem. The Czech Republic fully respects common policy of the European Union, which considers Jerusalem as the future capital of both the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine.”

Acting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said he was opposed to a full relocation of the embassy, as is it inconsistent with EU policy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter: “I hope that the decision will be implemented quickly and look forward to welcoming my good friend Miloš Zeman here in Israel with the great respect he deserves.”

Netanyahu yesterday hosted Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila in Jerusalem and expressed appreciation for the Romanian government’s decision to  transfer the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem.

Hamas Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh said Hamas “plans to spoil two of the occupation’s celebrations: The celebration of the occupation of Palestine and the celebration of the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem.”

He said US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” would become the, “slap of the century for the American administration and anyone who wants to conspire against the Palestinian issue”.