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Palestinians Condemn Australia’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Palestinians Condemn Australia’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Saturday, 15 December, 2018 - 19:15
A general view of Jerusalem. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The Palestinian leadership condemned on Saturday Australia for recognizing west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, deeming the move “irresponsible.”

The country became one of just a few to follow US President Donald Trump's lead and recognize the contested city as Israel's capital.

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Australia said it would open a defense and trade office in the west of the holy city and Prime Minister Scott Morrison also committed to recognizing a future state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement that the Australian decision to open a trade office in the city violated a United Nations resolution.

"From the beginning, we've perceived the Australian government's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital as one wherein petty domestic politics steer irresponsible policies that contradict world peace and security," he said in a statement.

“The policies of this Australian administration have done nothing to advance the two-state solution. All of Jerusalem remains a final status issue for negotiations, while East Jerusalem, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory,” he added.

The Arab League's Assistant Secretary General for Palestine and the Occupied Arab Territories, Saeed Abu Ali, condemned Australia's decision as a break with the international community's positions that disregards international law.

In a statement, he said it was "blatantly biased towards the positions and policies of the Israeli occupation."

Indonesia's foreign ministry spokesman, Arrmanatha Nasir, noted that Australia had not moved its embassy to Jerusalem and called on all members of the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state "based on the principle of two-state solutions".

Most foreign nations avoided moving embassies there to prevent inflaming peace talks on the city's final status -- until Trump unilaterally moved the US embassy there earlier this year.

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