The Palestinian leadership has denounced the latest decision by the Australian government to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli regime, describing the move as “irresponsible” and in violation of international law.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), called on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to reverse his decision on occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, and to ensure his country’s firm adherence to its obligations under international law.
Ashrawi noted that such a measure “would be unilateral, illegal, and would jeopardize the chances for peace.”
She pointed out that the dramatic shift in Canberra’s policy on Jerusalem al-Quds would constitute a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization Saeb Erekat also spoke out against the move.
“From the beginning, we’ve perceived the Australian government’s decision to recognize al-Quds as Israel’s capital as one wherein petty domestic politics steer irresponsible policies that contradict world peace and security,” he said in a statement.
“All of al-Quds remains a final status issue for negotiations, while East al-Quds, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory,” he added.
Earlier on Saturday, the Australian government followed US President Donald Trump’s lead and recognized the contested holy city of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.
Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in the occupied territories from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds on December 6 last year.
On December 21, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial policy shift.
Despite the vote, the US went ahead with the embassy transfer on May 14, triggering demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.
The Palestinian Authority says Israel doctors the Palestinian curriculum in schools in the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israel’s crackdown in Gaza left over 60 protesters dead in the impoverished coastal enclave on that day alone.
Angered by Trump’s move, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas boycotted his administration, saying Washington was no longer qualified to serve as the sole mediator in the decades-long conflict with Israel, and that an international mechanism should be devised to replace the US in the so-called peace process.
Jerusalem al-Quds remains at the core of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians hoping that the eastern part of the city would eventually serve as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.