The Palestinian ambassador to Brazil said on Monday he may be recalled home after right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s new government said it will open a trade mission to Israel in Jerusalem, ONA reports citing Reuters.
Brazil’s announcement on Sunday came during a visit by Bolsonaro to Israel. It stopped short of following the United States with a full embassy move to the contested city of Jerusalem, as Bolsonaro had suggested in January. Like most countries, Brazil has an embassy in Tel Aviv.
Bolsonaro’s original proposal angered the Muslim world, and senior Brazilian officials backed away from it for fear of damaging ties with Arab countries and jeopardizing billions of dollars in Brazilian halal meat exports.
Presidential spokesman Otavio Rego Barros said on Sunday the trade mission would not be a diplomatic representation, but the move drew anger from the Palestinians.
Brazil has not officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Most world powers say the city’s status should only be decided as part of a peace process with the Palestinians.
Palestinian Ambassador in Brasilia Ibrahim Alzeban told Reuters that he may be recalled, although a response was still under consideration.