The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates today welcomed the announcement of the Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong before the Australian Parliament in which she said that her government will return to using the term “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” including East Jerusalem, in all its literature, in addition to deeming Israeli settlements illegal as per international law.
“The Australian government is strengthening its opposition to settlements by affirming they are illegal under international law and a significant obstacle to peace,” Wong told the Parliament, also indicating that the government would return to explicitly referring to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
“In adopting the term we are clarifying that the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, were occupied by Israel following the 1967 war and that the occupation continues and reaffirms our commitment to negotiate a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist,” she said.
Last year, Wong reversed a decision made by the previous government four years earlier to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. She said the 2018 move had undermined peace and “put Australia out of step with the majority of the international community.”
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called in a statement on the Australian government to also implement the decisions of the ruling Labor Party conference, which asked its government to recognize the State of Palestine, without delay or hesitation, expressing hope that this decision would be quickly taken, in line with international law and international legitimacy, since it reflects not only the position of the Labor Party and its members but also the Australian people at large, who support the just and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to have their state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.