Jerusalem Current Affairs - 2019
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On 15th December 2018, Australia recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. With this, Australia has become one of the few countries that officially recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and as the seat of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament). This move is supposed to irk Indonesia and other countries.
However, Australia has made it clear that it will not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement is reached between Israel and Palestine. Yet, Australia will establish a defence and trade office in Jerusalem and start looking for an embassy site
West Jerusalem is that part of Jerusalem which remained under Israeli control after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. A number of western countries such as the UK acknowledge de facto Israeli authority, but withhold de jure recognition. Israel’s claim of sovereignty over West Jerusalem is more widely accepted than its claim over city of East Jerusalem
- Both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as their capital.
- Before this, United States President Donald Trump’s administration had also announced recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017.
- The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in opposition to declare the US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void”
- India also supported the resolution, which was approved with a majority of 127-9 at the UN General Assembly calling for the US to withdraw its decision
The Israeli–Palestinian tussle is the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the mid-20th century. The origins of this conflict can be traced back to Jewish immigration, and sectarian conflict in Mandatory Palestine between Jews and Arabs. This conflict has been referred to as the world’s “most intractable conflict”, with the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for last 51 years
United States has decided to merge its Consulate General with its new embassy in Israel into single diplomatic mission in Jerusalem. This decision was taken as part of US’s global efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. It also comes after US under President Donald Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and moved its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. The consulate general in Jerusalem was top mission of US for Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem for their capital. Post this merger, US will establish new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside embassy in Jerusalem to continue reporting, outreach and programming in West Bank and Gaza as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem.
The status of Jerusalem is one of thorniest disputes between Israel and Palestinians. Palestinians, with broad international backing, seek East Jerusalem as capital of state they want to establish in occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. But, Israel regards all of city, including eastern sector it captured in 1967 Middle East war and annexed, as its eternal and indivisible capital, but this is recognized internationally.