PM Rishi Sunak’s government says "there are no plans to move the British embassy" to Jerusalem, a reverse from the policy of short-lasted Liz Truss rule.

UK says its embassy will continue to operate from Tel Aviv.
UK says its embassy will continue to operate from Tel Aviv. (Instagram / UK in Israel)

Britain's new government led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ruled out moving the UK embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"It has been looked at," a government spokesperson told reporters on Thursday. "There are no plans to move the British embassy," she added.

The idea of such a move was voiced during former PM Liz Truss' Tory leadership contest and a review into the matter was ordered by her after becoming premier.

Husam Zomlot, Palestine's ambassador to the UK, thanked "the government, opposition parties, faith leaders, activists and members of the public whose efforts have helped keep the UK in line with international law on the matter."

"The question about the location of the UK's Embassy should never have been asked in the first place," he said.

The sovereignty of Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the occupied heartland of Palestine and its ultimate capital. 

READ MORE: Australia walks back recognition of West Jerusalem as Israeli capital — FM

'Much work needs to fix Balfour's injustice'

The US, under former president Donald Trump's government, had decided to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Washington's decision drew condemnation across the world that fuelled the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. 

Trump administration had also lobbied other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem and some tiny Pacific island countries followed the suit. 

Türkiye along with Yemen, staunch supporters of Palestine's cause, initiated a UN General Assembly vote, in which 128 countries condemned the US decision, with only nine countries supporting it.

Only a few countries have recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital with recent declarations of Kosovo and Guatemala.

"There is much work to be done to create a conducive environment for peace in the Middle East and make amends for the historic injustice caused by the Balfour Declaration, 105 years ago," Zomlot said.

"We call on the British government to play an active role, recognise the State of Palestine, affirm the UK's support for the rights of Palestinian refugees, ban all illegal goods and products from the settlement in occupied territories and sanction companies working in and profiting from them," he added. 

Last month, Christian Church leaders in Jerusalem voiced concern over British plans to relocate the UK embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

In a statement, the Council of the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem said it noted "with grave concern the recent call" of Truss to review the embassy’s location.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies