The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s signal that he was considering the relocation of the Australian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“Considering this issue [moving the embassy] is against international law and UN resolutions," the ministry said in a statement.
“[This move] hinders the achievement of peace and encourages Israel not to sit down and negotiate with the Palestinians,” it warned.
Morrison said that he was “open to” relocating his country’s embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the city as the capital of Israel.
“We’re committed to a two-state solution, but frankly, it hasn’t been going that well,” Morrison said. “Not a lot of progress has been made. And you don’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.”
Morrison said the idea was suggested to him by former Australian ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, who is a candidate for the ruling conservative Liberal Party in a by-election Saturday in a Sydney electorate with a large Jewish population.
In December, U.S. President Donald Trump triggered world outcry after unveiling plans to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and declare the city the capital of Israel.
Ever since, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has rejected any U.S. role in the stumbling Middle East peace process.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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