Hamas warns Australia following Jerusalem recognition

Hamas condemns Australia for recognizing western Jerusalem as Israel's capital, calls on it to rescind its decision.

Dalit Halevi ,

Flash 90

Hamas on Tuesday issued an official statement denouncing Australia for its decision to recognize western Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

The statement noted that Australia's decision "is hostile to the Palestinian people and its national rights and stands in stark contrast to all the international resolutions that Australia has voted for in the past."

Hamas stressed that the decision would harm Australia and affect relations between the two peoples which had been based on mutual respect and non-intervention in the internal affairs of the other. It called on the Australian prime minister to rescind his decision.

Hamas also reiterated its firm position that completely dismisses the normalization of ties between Arab states and Israel, which, the group said, is a stab in the back of the Palestinian people, a violation of their rights, a cover for the activities of the “Zionist enemy” which are expressed in "killing Palestinians, arresting them, destroying their homes and deporting them to the Diaspora."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Saturday that his country officially recognizes western Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, though he stressed that the Australian embassy would not move to western Jerusalem until a peace agreement was reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Morrison did say, however, that his government would establish an office in Jerusalem that would deal with security and trade.

The move was criticized by the PA, whose chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said it was contrary to UN resolutions.

Australia’s move was actually welcomed by Bahrain, whose Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, said that "Australia’s position does not hamper the legitimate demands of the Palestinians and first and foremost East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.”

The senior diplomat added, "It also does not contradict the Arab Peace Initiative.”