The Republic of Nauru in Micronesia and the Central American country of Honduras have formally recognized Jerusalem as the indisputable capital of Israel, joining the select club of countries who have done so, including the United States, Guatemala and the Republic of Vanuatu.
Israel’s embassy in Belgium jubilantly tweeted the news, stating: “Over the last 24 hours, two new countries have recognized #Jerusalem as the Capital of #Israel: Honduras and Nauru. We warmly welcome their decision and hope to see more countries follow the lead!”
Nauru’s mission to the UN in New York notified the Israeli mission in New York of the decision in a formal letter earlier this month, but news of the recognition was released only 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 mission of Nauru stated.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz lauded the move, tweeting: “I commend @Republic_Nauru’s important decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. We will continue to strengthen Jerusalem and to bring about the recognition and opening of diplomatic missions and embassies in our capital.”
Most of the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Among the few exceptions are Russia and Australia, which have been careful to state that their recognition only applies to west Jerusalem.
On Wednesday, Honduras’ Council of Ministers formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and approved Sunday’s opening of a trade office in the city.
The council approved a resolution, which stated: “The Council of Secretaries of State resolves to support the constitutional president of the Republic in its decision to establish an official diplomatic mission in Jerusalem as an office of political, cultural and commercial cooperation.”
It added that the trade office “is an extension from the Honduran embassy in Tel Aviv,” and that it “recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
“This resolution is immediately enforceable,” said Ebal Diaz, the secretary for the Honduran presidency, adding that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who will be in Israel on Saturday and Sunday, has been a strong supporter of the state of Israel.
The Palestinian Authority has condemned the Honduras and Nauru recognition.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashwari accused Nauru of taking that step for financial reasons and “other considerations.”
“Nauru is violating also its obligations under international law and the UN Charter, and must be held accountable for these violations,” Ashwari said. “The status of Jerusalem as an occupied city is endorsed by the vast majority of states. The Palestinian leadership calls on responsible international actors to renew their universal and unequivocal rejection of all Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem and to reaffirm their rejection of such illegal positions.”