“Australia now recognises West Jerusalem – being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government – is the capital of Israel,” Morrison said in a speech on Saturday in Sydney. However, to have an embassy has a condition: a peace settlement must be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in a move that is not internationally recognized. Morrison said his government would establish a defense and trade office in Jerusalem.The work on a new site for the embassy is under way.
Australia becomes the third country to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, following the U.S. and Guatemala. Most countries avoided moving embassies to Jerusalem to prevent scuttling peace talks. Morrison also took aim at the United Nations, which he said was a place where Israel is “bullied”. The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) on Saturday said Morrison’s move “serves no Australian interest”. There was no immediate comment from Jerusalem on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.