Terrorist group Hamas praises Australia's call to reverse Jerusalem decision

Albanese government makes move to recognise Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital

Terrorist group Hamas praises Australia's call to reverse Jerusalem decision
AP Photo/Adel Hana
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Hamas has praised the Albanese government’s decision to reverse Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The group, who were listed as a terror organisation in March and whose charter calls Israel to be “obliterated”, described the move as “a step in the right direction”.

The decision was announced by Foreign Minister Penny Wong who said Australia would go back to recognising Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital.

She said Australia had only decided to recognise West Jerusalem because then Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been trying to win votes in Eastern Sydney which has a large Jewish population.

“This was a cynical play, unsuccessful, to win the seat of Wentworth and a by-election,” she said.

“For that reason, I made clear at the time, we reaffirmed our view that Jerusalem is a final status issue.

“What do those words mean? It means that has to be resolved through negotiation between the parties.”

Wong claimed recognising West Jerusalem as the capital undermined the prospect of a peace deal with Palestine. This was despite the fact Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, rather than West Jerusalem, as the future capital of a state of Palestine.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad, also listed as a terrorist organisation, praised the government’s decision as “a courageous step and a victory for the Palestinian cause and narrative”.

Wong sought to reassure the Jewish community that “Australia will always be a steadfast friend of Israel”.

The Morrison government recognised West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital after the Trump administration moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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