Palestinian envoy: Australia at economic risk for stance on eastern Jerusalem

The flag of Australia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The Palestinian envoy to Australia says the country is at risk of economic and trade sanctions from Arab and Muslim countries over its stance on eastern Jerusalem, by no longer referring to the area as “occupied” by Israel.

"We think that it’s very provocative and un-useful, and it’s not appropriate,” said the Palestinian envoy to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi, AFP reported. 

Abdulhadi said that Australia could face trade boycotts from Arab and Muslim countries for its “isolated” stance. Already, Jordan has summoned Australia’s ambassador, while Indonesia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia protested the policy change. 

Last week, Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said his country would no longer refer to eastern Jerusalem as “occupied.” 

“The description of east Jerusalem as ‘Occupied east Jerusalem’ is a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful,” Brandis said following a conversation with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. 

Israel took control of the eastern half of Jerusalem from Jordan, which includes many Jewish holy sites such as the Western Wall, in the 1967 Six-Day War. Jews were forbidden to visit the area when it was under Jordanian control from 1948-67.

Posted on June 13, 2014 .