The tiny Pacific island government of Nauru has recognized Yerushalayim as the capital of Israel, joining Honduras, which did so on Wednesday.
“The Mission of Nauru has the honor to convey the decision of the Government of the Republic of Nauru to formally recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital city of the state of Israel,” the embassy stated. The announcement, dated August 16, was published on Thursday.
Israel welcomed the news. Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs Yisrael Katz tweeted, “I commend Nauru’s important decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. After President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem, other countries are taking this important step. We will continue to strengthen Jerusalem’s diplomatic status. We will continue to work to bring more countries to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and bring about the opening of more diplomatic missions and embassies and in our capital.”
The president of Nauru visited Israel in June 2017 when Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked him for his country’s unflagging support for Israel at the U.N. “Nauru is one of Israel’s most dedicated friends in the world. It regularly supports Israel in the UN, despite pressure exerted on it by Arab countries,” PM Netanyahu said on that occasion.
Although Nauru has only 13,000 residents, it has a seat and a vote in the U.N. General Assembly, the same as all other countries.
Israel is expected to provide financial aid to Nauru for moving its embassy, Globes reported.
In response, Palestinian Authority official Hanan Ashrawi denounced the move by both countries as an “affront to international law” and threatened that the PA will reassess diplomatic ties with Honduras.
Nauru was not spared Palestinian wrath either. Ashrawi cited its “shameful” voting record at the United Nations on Palestinian issues, and said, “Nauru is violating also its obligations under international law and the U.N. Charter and must be held accountable for these violations.”