Israel says Australia considering moving embassy to Jerusalem


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's indication of his support for moving Australia's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has met with a frosty reception in Indonesia, with Jakarta reportedly mulling over whether to put an imminent trade deal with Canberra on hold.

Census figures show 12.5% of people in Wentworth are Jewish, a significantly larger proportion than the rest of the country.

Mr. Trump promised to move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during his 2016 presidential campaign and announced the decision to proceed last December.

In Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, who was attending solidarity events in the country, said Morrison's statement was "very sad news" that would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Sharma, who was ambassador to Israel between 2013 and 2017, is on Saturday standing as a candidate for Morrison's ruling Liberal Party in a crucial by-election in Sydney.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper described Mr Morrison's apparent change of heart as "unprincipled and craven".

The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians. Following Donald Trump's move, Guatemala and Paraguay also moved their embassies, but the latter reversed the relocation three months later.

Morrison said earlier on Tuesday the political orthodoxy that drove such debates suggested that discussion of the Israeli capital was "taboo".

Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Morrison's initiative, the response from neighbouring Indonesia - the world's largest Muslim nation - was less welcoming.

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In a statement, Palestine's embassy in Australia called Morrison's announcement "deeply disturbing". The eastern sector of Jerusalem is considered to have been annexed by Israel in the 1967 war, while the Jewish State regards the whole city as its capital.

Australia would be the second major country, after the United States, to make such a move.

Mr Trump's decision enraged Palestinians and upset the Arab world and Western allies like.

Palestinians, with broad worldwide backing, want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

He said: "It's a big change, it is out of step with everyone, except America".

Arguing that a two-state solution has failed to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that his government is contemplating moving the Australian embassy to the Holy City, to somehow rejuvenate the negotiation process.

There have been many diplomatic efforts to realize a two-state solution, but the last US-led Palestinian-Israeli peace talks came to a halt in April 2014, under the Obama administration.

US President Donald Trump drew global criticism a year ago when he reversed decades of American foreign policy by recognising the ancient city as Israel's capital.