Islam Times 16 Oct 2018 102018000000Tue, 16 Oct 2018 10:12:28 -0400 10:12 -------------------------------------------------- Title : Australia says mulling over recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli 'capital' -------------------------------------------------- Islam Times - Australia says it is considering recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and relocating its embassy to the occupied Palestinian city just as the US did earlier this year to draw harsh criticisms from the Palestinians and the entire international community. Text : Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison raised the issue during a phone conversation with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday. Netanyahu tweeted that the Australian premier had informed me that he is considering officially recognizing Jerusalem [al-Quds] as the capital of Israel & moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem [al-Quds]. I m very thankful to him for this. Media reports said that the possible shift in Canberra s foreign policy was related to the October 20 by-election in Wentworth, which has a Jewish community of about 12.5 percent. They also noted that Morrison s proposal credited Dave Sharma, theLiberal party s Wentworth candidate who was formerly the Australian ambassador to Israel. Morrison told reporters that he would make an announcement on Tuesday regarding Jerusalem al-Quds and Australia s No vote for a UN resolution allowing Palestine to chair the Group of 77. He further claimed that Australia s decision on Jerusalem al-Quds would not change the country s longstanding support for the so-called two-state solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Morrison also stressed that Sharma had convinced him to consider the policy shift on Jerusalem al-Quds. I am open to further pursuing (moving the embassy) and doing that together with Cabinet colleagues, The Daily Telegraph quoted Morrison as saying. I am saying I m open to considering it. The BBC also cited the premier as saying that one future scenario could involve Australia recognizing a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem al-Quds and Israeli capital in West Jerusalem al-Quds. However, the Palestinian ambassador toCanberra hit out at Morrison s deeply disturbing plan, urging Australia to exercise caution. In a strongly-worded statement, Izzar Abdulhadi warned that the embassy relocation would make Australia a pariah state and damage Australia s international standing and ... relations with Arab and Muslim-dominated countries. US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel last December and movedthe American embassy to the ancient city in May. The contentious move sparkedangry reactions by the Palestinians and drew the criticismof the international community. President Mahmoud Abbas formally declared that the Palestinians would no longer accept the US as a mediator to resolve the conflict because Washington was completelybiased towards Tel Aviv. Guatemala and Paraguay also followed the US in its policy shift and recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli "capital,"but the latter later reversed its decision. Israel lays claim to the whole Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community views the city s eastern sector as occupied territory and Palestinians consider it as the capital of their future state.