The Palestinian Authority (PA) is threatening to sue outgoing US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in international courts for recognizing the City of David settlement project in the city of Jerusalem.
Known as the Silwan neighborhood, the area has been witnessing massive political and settler efforts to Judaize it. It has been called City of David in a blatant effort to rid it of its Palestinian residents, who remain undeterred. The neighborhood has consequently witnessed almost daily clashes between locals and settlers.
In a statement on Tuesday, the PA’s foreign ministry said that all of East Jerusalem is Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, and “it is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine despite Friedman and his outgoing administration, which has deviated from every legal, diplomatic or ethical norm.”
It considered that “Friedman's bigoted statements are a flagrant violation of international legitimacy and its resolutions, and international law and diplomatic traditions.”
The Ministry affirmed that it will take responsibility to follow up on this matter with legal experts and the concerned authorities to discuss the possibility of holding Friedman accountable before international and specialized courts.
At a ceremony Monday, Friedman and Paul Packer, Chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, dedicated a plaque to honor the City of David.
“I’ve often wondered, what monuments inspired our Founding Fathers?” Friedman asked during the ceremony.
“When the drafters of the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that our Creator had endowed each and every American with certain unalienable rights, what monuments inspired them? I suggest that those monuments are located right here, in the ancient City of Jerusalem,” he added.
Friedman’s observation and recognition were rejected by the PA as “illegal, invalid … and reflects Friedman’s intentions and the dark ideology he tries to attach not only to his country, but to the American constitution and principles, and to employ them for the benefit of the Israeli narrative in Jerusalem.”
Friedman was the first sitting US Ambassador to tour the City of David and has since then visited with numerous senior US officials.