Canberra “mistaken” in support for Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, minister says.
By Reuters staff | Guardian | Dec 16, 2018
The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Saturday that Canberra formally recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but also reaffirmed his country’s support for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem under a two-state peace deal.
Israel signaled its displeasure on Sunday with Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as its capital.
The country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu remained silent on Canberra’s move at the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting, which he often uses to hold forth in public on diplomatic developments, but a minister close to him said it was a mistake to contradict the notion of Israeli control over the whole city.
Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the six-day war in 1967 and, in a move not recognized internationally, claimed the city as its capital. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as capital of the state they hope to found in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The US president, Donald Trump, outraged Palestinians last year by recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, a designation that did not acknowledge their claim on the east of the city though it left open the question of its final borders.