Israel 'disappointed' by Australia's decision on Jerusalem

FM says recognizing West Jerusalem as capital only 'a step in the right direction' while senior official says PM 'only went halfway'.

Tzvi Lev ,

Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem, Israel

Australia's announcement on Saturday that it would only recognize West Jerusalem as Israel's capital reportedly left Israel disappointed.

Speaking with Channel 10, a senior official said that Israel was disappointed that Australia didn't recognize the entire city as the capital of Israel. "We’re disappointed with the Australian decision," said the official. "Morrison only went half-way. It’s a step in the right direction, but we expected more."

Following the announcement, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said that he was "surprised" to hear that Australia only recognized the city's western half as Israel's capital.

"I am surprised by Australia's recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and we will continue to insist on this - Greater Jerusalem is our capital forever, not only part of it" said Edelstein.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced on Saturday that Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"Australia recognizes West Jerusalem, the seat of the Knesset and many government institutions, as the capital of Israel," Morrison said at a press conference.

However, Morrison stressed that the embassy would not move to West Jerusalem until a peace agreement was reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but said that his government would establish an office that would deal with security and trade.