The plans from Chile to open an embassy in the occupied territories have been welcomed by the Palestinian foreign ministry. According to Chilean President Gabriel Boric, the move will signal a demand that “international law be respected,” Al Jazeera reported.

The intention was confirmed by Chile's foreign minister, Antonia Urrejola, on Dec. 22, however, she added that there was no timeline in place just yet and that Chile still saw Israel and Palestine as legitimate nations.

The decision was announced by Boric on Wednesday, Dec. 21, evening during a private ceremony in Santiago, the capital of Chile, which was hosted by the sizable Palestinian community in the city.

More than 300,000 Palestinians are thought to reside in Chile, many of whom descend from families who first settled in the Bethlehem region of the West Bank, which includes the communities of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, Chile established a representational office for the Palestinian Authority in 1998. Additionally, in 2011, the nation supported Palestine's admission to UNESCO and recognized it as a state.

It was stated by Boric that the proposed embassy in the occupied Palestinian territories will also provide Palestinians with the representation they deserve. He did not say where the embassy will be situated.

The Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which the Palestinian Authority hopes to serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state, have been under Israeli occupation since the "Six-Day War" of 1967.

Later, the Israeli government annexed East Jerusalem unilaterally in a decision that is still not acknowledged by the international world.

In light of this, the debate rages on about where embassies and other diplomatic outposts should be situated.

In 2017, Donald Trump, the US president at the time, stirred up anger among Palestinians when he acknowledged Israel's claim to an "undivided" Jerusalem and later relocated the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

A US consulate in occupied Jerusalem, which had served as the de facto embassy for Palestinians for years, was also closed by Trump, a strong Israel supporter.

Although promises to reopen the consulate were made by the current US president Joe Biden, his administration has yet to do so amid opposition from Israeli officials. Biden also has kept the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Newly elected President of Chile Gabriel Boric
Newly elected President Gabriel Boric speaks with the media after meeting with President of Chile Sebastian Piñera at La Moneda Presidential Palace on December 20, 2021 in Santiago, Chile. Candidate Boric of leftist party Apruebo Dignidad defeated right wing candidate Jose Antonio Kast with 55% of the votes in the run-off. Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

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