Australia’s government has announced that they will no longer recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, resulting in condemnation from the Israeli government and praise from the Palestinian authority.
In a statement, Australia’s foreign minister Penny Wong said, “Today the Government has reaffirmed Australia’s previous and longstanding position that Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people. This reverses the Morrison Government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Foreign Minister Wong added that Australia’s embassy would stay in Tel Aviv and added that the country was determined to see a two-state solution “in which Israel and future Palestinian state coexist, in peace, and security, within internationally recognized borders. We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect.”
The decision to reverse recognition resulted in Israel summoning Australia’s ambassador. In addition, Israel’s prime minister reacted to the announcement from Australia, saying the decision was a “hasty response” and added, “we can only hope that the Australian government manages other matters more seriously and professionally. Jerusalem is the eternal and united capital of Israel and nothing will ever change that.”
The Palestinian Authority praised the decision by Australia and said the move was a step in the right direction. Palestinian civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh said, “We welcome Australia’s decision with regards to Jerusalem & its call for a two-state solution in accordance with international legitimacy.” He added the “affirmation that the future of sovereignty over Jerusalem depends on the permanent solution based on international legitimacy.”