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Israel FM summons Australia envoy after recognition of Jerusalem rescinded 

Israel’s FM has summoned Australia’s ambassador to Tel Aviv after Australia retracted its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel's capital

October 18, 2022 at 2:09 pm

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs today summoned the Australian Ambassador to Tel Aviv, Paul Griffiths, after his country retracted its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israeli Army Radio and the i24 news website reported that “Australian Ambassador Paul Griffiths was summoned to clarify the step taken by his country.”

In response to the Australian decision, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement: “In light of the way this decision was made in Australia, as a hasty response to an incorrect report in the media, we can only hope that the Australian government manages other matters more seriously and professionally.”

“Jerusalem is the eternal and united capital of Israel, and nothing will ever change that.”

On Tuesday, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said that Australia officially announced that it no longer recognises West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

It quoted Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong as saying in an interview with reporters: “Today the government has reaffirmed Australia’s previous and longstanding position that Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people.”

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She pointed out that this “reverses the Morrison Government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

“I regret that Mr Morrison’s decision to play politics resulted in Australia’s shifting position and the distress these shifts have caused to many people in the Australian community who care deeply about this issue.”

In 2018, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government said it would recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but would not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement was reached.

In 2017, then-US President Donald Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy. He moved the American embassy to the Holy City the following year.