The Gulf state has long expressed its support for the Palestinian cause, with Qatari officials continuously condemning the illegal Israeli occupation.
Qatar has welcomed Australia’s announcement to reverse its controversial recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Tuesday, in a move that has garnered global praise.
In a statement, Qatar’s foreign ministry said Australia’s decision “would support international efforts aimed at achieving a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace”.
The Gulf state also expressed its “aspiration for similar decisions from the countries that recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”.
“The ministry warns against unilateral steps that could undermine the principle of a two-state solution,” read the statement, reiterating Qatar’s support for Palestinian rights.
In 2018, Australia’s previous Prime Minister Scott Morrison had recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, though he fell short of establishing Canberra’s embassy on the illegally occupied land.
The move came a year after former US President Donald Trump named Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and established the embassy there, a move that was widely condemned as provocative at the time.
Despite receiving praise from pro-Palestine advocates worldwide, Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Canberra “will always be a steadfast friend of Israel” while maintaining its commitment to a two-state solution.
“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,” said Morrison.
The decision angered Israel, prompting a response from the foreign ministry in which it voiced “deep disappointment”. Tel Aviv also summoned its Australian ambassador in response.
Israel considers the entirety of Jerusalem as its capital following its illegal annexation of the eastern part in the 1967 war, also known as the “Six Day War”.
The occupying state had declared victory after just six days, paving the way for it to expand its illegal presence in Palestine while also seizing the Gaza strip. The Zionist state also captured the Golan heights and parts of south Lebanon.
“Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years and will continue to be the State of Israel’s eternal and united capital, regardless of this-or-that decision,” the Zionist state’s ministry said in a statement.
Palestine’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh welcomed Australia’s decision, saying it is in line with international law and international legitimacy.
“It is also a message to Israel that the world will not accept its annexation of the Palestinian territories,” said Shtayyeh, according to Palestine’s news agency.
Shtayyeh added that the decision “expresses Australia’s respect and alignment with the values of truth, justice and freedom, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, sanctioned by international legitimacy.”
Qatar’s support for Palestine
The Gulf state has long expressed its support for the Palestinian cause, with Qatari officials continuously condemning the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.
During his speech at this year’s United Nations General Assembly in New York, Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani highlighted key issues concerning the Middle East region.
Amir Tamim renewed the need to implement international resolutions and press Israel to end its illegal occupation.
“The Palestinian cause is still unresolved, and in light of the failure to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy and with the persistent change of facts on the ground the settler-occupation has pursued a fait accompli policy,” said Sheikh Tamim.
The leader renewed Qatar’s full solidarity with Palestinians “in their aspiration for justice” while calling on the Security Council to “compel Israel to end the Palestinian territories’ occupation.”