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The New Arab

Tunisia lawmakers move to outlaw 'normalisation' with Israel, after Trump's Jerusalem move

Like most other countries in the Arab world, Tunisia does not recognise Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 December, 2017

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A Tunisian lawmaker has announced efforts to pass a long-shelved law banning 'normalising' relations with Israel after Washington's controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A Tunisian lawmaker has announced efforts to pass a long-shelved law banning "normalisation" of relations with Israel after Washington's controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Zouhaier Maghzaoui, the secretary-general of the People's Movement political party, told The New Arab on Sunday that 95 lawmakers have so far signed a petition to speed up ratifying the proposed legislation.

"All blocs have welcomed the move to accelerate the process of passing this law in response to our duty to advocate the just Palestinian cause," Maghzaoui said.

He said the law would "send a strong message to the 'Zionist entity' and US President Donald Trump".

"Tunisia will always take a leading role in the fight for the right of the proud Palestinian people to return and raise their flag in their capital Jerusalem," Maghzaoui added.

The law, which was first proposed in 2015, would impose fines and slap jail sentences on anyone or businesses dealing with Israel in any form.

The move comes days after the Tunisian parliament voted by an absolute majority to condemn US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump's divisive decision on Wednesday has resulted in an overwhelming global diplomatic backlash.

Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemning the US decision, saying it undermined Palestinian rights.

On Thursday, thousands of Tunisians protested in several cities against Washington's decision, which also includes moving the US embassy to the occupied holy city.

Israel seized Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

The Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

The international community does not recognise the ancient city as Israel's capital, insisting the issue can only be resolved in negotiations.

Like most other countries in the Arab world, Tunisia does not recognise Israel.

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