Australia to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Australia considers following US on Jerusalem embassy

Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison on Tuesday indicated that he is open to the idea of shifting the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognising the holy city as Israel's capital.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's signal that he was considering the relocation of the Australian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

He informed me that he is considering officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel & moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said that...

Australia was committed to a two-state solution, it said, and an embassy move would not block Palestinian claims over the eastern part of the city.

Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and annexed.

A Tuesday statement published by the official Palestinian WAFA news agency claimed Morrison "harmed Australia's interests and its worldwide standing", and urged the Australian opposition, civil society organizations, the business sector and the Arab and Islamic communities to press the Australian government to reconsider its position.

The Australian leader also announced that his country will vote against recognizing the Palestinian Authority as the chair of the G77 bloc in the United Nations, in addition to reviewing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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The attack on Beersheva came as Lieberman said he is pressing for upgraded military action to quiet the situation in Gaza. Residents in Gaza said the aircraft targeted three locations, but there were no initial reports of casualties.

Voters in the Sydney electorate of Wentworth will decide on Saturday who will replace former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who quit politics after he was ousted in a party revolt in August.

He said it may be possible for his nation to support a two-state solution and recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital - something that Australia had "to date assumed" was unfeasible.

"The two-state solution means nothing without an equitable resolution to these final-status issues. The Australian Government will not be moving our embassy to Jerusalem", Bishop replied.

"[Scott Morrison] is prepared to say anything if he thinks it will win him a few more votes - even at the cost of Australia's national interest", she said. That is, until the USA under Donald Trump moved its embassy to Jerusalem this year.

How do you reconcile these clearly articulated statements of a long held position that has enjoyed bilateral support with Morrison's announcement: "I am open to further pursuing [moving the embassy]".

The Liberal party candidate for Wentworth, Dave Sharma, denied that the announcement, which signals the reversal of a 70-year foreign policy stance by Australia, is connected to the byelection in the area of about 100,000 voters. While both Russian Federation and France offered to host delegations from Israel and Palestine for renewed peace talks, on December 6, 2017 Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

It also drew condemnation from 13 Arab ambassadors in Australia who called the suggestion regrettable and asked Morrison to reconsider, or risk damaging Australian ties in the region.

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