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Australia To Not Recognise West Jerusalem As Isreal’s Capital

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Australia will not recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from now on, going in the opposite direction from that of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government’s decision in 2018.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong called Jerusalem a “final status issue” that should be concluded as part of peace talks between Israel and Palestine. She said, “We will not support an approach that undermines a two-state solution”, adding, “Australia’s embassy has always been, and remains, in Tel Aviv”.

Criticism of the decision of naming West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

The previous conservative government led by Scott Morrison named West Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, just like former US president Donald Trump did.

The move was opposed at home and disturbed neighboring Indonesia- a most populated Muslim-majority country-temporarily hampering a free trade deal.

She criticized the Morrison government for having an election motive (by-election) in a Sydney suburb with a significant Jewish community.

“You know what this was? This was a cynical play, unsuccessful, to win the seat of Wentworth and a by-election,” she lashed out at Morrison.

The new government, with the center-left Labor party in power, has Anthony Albanese as the prime minister, came to power in May this year.

Wong confirmed that the decision did not signify any hostility to Israel.

Mixed reaction to Australia’s move

Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid condemned Australia’s decision. He said the decision was a “hasty response”. “We can only hope that the Australian government manages other matters more seriously and professionally,” he added.

Palestinian authority appreciated the decision. “We welcome Australia’s decision with regards to Jerusalem & its call for a two-state solution by international legitimacy,” the Palestinian Authority’s civil affairs minister, Hussein al-Sheikh, posted on Twitter.

During the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured Arab east Jerusalem and eventually annexed it, claiming the entire city as its “eternal and indivisible capital.”

The eastern region is where the Palestinians want to establish their future state’s capital.

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