The Morrison government is expected to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s legitimate capital following a cabinet meeting today, but may delay the relocation of Australia’s embassy from Tel Aviv.
The move is another great result for the Conservative Party which has been running a petition for recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. To add your support, click the box below:
Senior government sources have confirmed a final decision was made by cabinet’s national security committee last night.
It is believed the option favoured by several cabinet ministers was a formal recognition of Jerusalem and a commitment to move the embassy at a later stage.
The decision will be ratified by cabinet today but is unlikely to be announced before tomorrow’s Council of Australian Governments meeting.
Sources confirmed that it was likely a consular office would be established in Jerusalem as a sign of support for Israel until the full embassy was relocated.
It is believed to have been discussed in length at last night’s meeting. A formal recognition could involve an executive order.
What is unclear is if it will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital, or a broader definition which recognised Jerusalem but without prejudice to future borders set in any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. This is regarded as an important distinction, as any future border is likely to involve land swaps.
US President Donald Trump announced last year that the US embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Guatemala soon followed suit. Paraguay has signalled it will also make the move.
Russia formally recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last year. Most UN member countries refuse to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital without a peace settlement with the Palestinians, which would include East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.
It is understood the cost of relocating the embassy, with estimates of up to $200 million, was a factor in deliberations.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has told Paul Murray Live on Sky News the embassy move makes sense.
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