Ethiopia has been forced to deny it was considering moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

The East African nation said it had no such plans after a lawyer acting for its Israeli embassy claimed the plans were on hold over the treatment of a group of Ethiopian monks by police in Jerusalem.

According to The Times of Israel , Eliezer Yasu Gil said “moving the Ethiopian embassy to Jerusalem was under consideration”, but “for now this process is frozen”.

A spokesman for the Ethiopian embassy said Mr Gil did not represent their views, and it has never been mentioned before.

However, the ambassador, Tsegay Berha Hadera, had warned the eviction of the monks from a complex owned by the Ethiopian church – captured on film last week – could spark a diplomatic crisis.

Most countries have their Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv because the status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided” capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war – as the capital of a future state.

However, after the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem earlier this year, a number of other nations have followed suit.