Foreign Minister Benny Wong said the government ‘regrets’ the decision taken by the previous administration and reiterated its commitment to a two-state solution.
Australia says it will no longer recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing a decision by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government in 2018.
“The Government today reaffirmed Australia’s previous and long-standing position that Jerusalem should be resolved as a final status issue as part of the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people,” Foreign Minister Benny Wong said in a statement.
“It replaces the Morrison government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
Wong reiterated that Australia’s embassy would remain in Tel Aviv and that Canberra was committed to a two-state solution where “Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist in peace and security within internationally recognized borders”.
He added: “We will not support an approach that undermines this opportunity.”
The status of Jerusalem One of the biggest sticking points is efforts to reach a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel considers the entire city, including the eastern part annexed after the 1967 Middle East war, as its capital, while the Palestinian Authority, with broad international support, wants east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state in the occupied western part. Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority applauds the move
The Palestinian Authority has praised Australia’s move to bring attention to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
“We welcome Australia’s decision on Jerusalem and its call for a two-state solution in accordance with international law,” Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on Twitter.
Sheikh praised Australia’s “future sovereignty over Jerusalem as dependent on a permanent settlement based on international law”.
Deakin University’s Shahram Akbarzadeh said Australia’s move would renew international consensus on the status of Jerusalem.
“Australia was away from that consensus, but now it’s coming back.
“This will certainly bring into focus the issue, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the future of the two-state solution,” he told Al Jazeera from Melbourne, adding that the international community has a huge responsibility to resolve this long-standing issue.
“There is an international consensus that the status of Jerusalem must be dealt with, decided as part of a larger negotiation on the future of the two states in Israel and Palestine. They cannot be divorced from that issue.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid strongly criticized Australia’s decision.
Lapid described the move as an “urgent response”, adding: “We hope the Australian government will manage other matters more seriously and professionally.
“Jerusalem is the eternal and united capital of Israel and nothing will change that,” the Prime Minister said in a statement issued by his office.
Israel’s foreign ministry said it had summoned the Australian ambassador to lodge a formal protest.
Former Australian Prime Minister Morrison announced his recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of US policy of recognizing the city and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv.
Australia’s decision was widely criticized by pro-Palestinian groups and the Labor Party, which was then in opposition and vowed to reverse the move if elected.