update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Australian FM: Recognizing Palestinian state not a reward for terror

"A two-state solution is the only hope of breaking the endless cycle of violence," said Penny Wong.

The Australian flag flies above Sydney Harbor and the city's Opera House. Credit: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.
The Australian flag flies above Sydney Harbor and the city's Opera House. Credit: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said on Tuesday that recognition of a Palestinian state would not constitute a reward for Israel’s enemies, according to Reuters.

Speaking at the Australian National University’s National Security College, Wong endorsed comments by her British counterpart, David Cameron, who has said that recognizing a “Palestine” could help force the desired two-state solution on Israel and the Palestinians.

“A two-state solution is the only hope of breaking the endless cycle of violence,” claimed Wong, according to a readout from her office.

“We are now thirty years on from the Oslo Accords that put Palestinian statehood at the end of a process. The failures of this approach by all parties over decades—as well as the Netanyahu government’s refusal to even engage on the question of a Palestinian state—have caused widespread frustration,” Canberra’s top diplomat added.

“There are always those who claim recognition is rewarding an enemy. This is wrong. First, because Israel’s own security depends on a two-state solution,” Wong continued. “Second, because there is no role for Hamas in a future Palestinian state.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government understands that “any future Palestinian state cannot be in a position to threaten Israel’s security and will need a reformed Palestinian Authority,” she said.

Palestinian polls suggest that 89% of Palestinians support establishing a government that includes or is led by Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel in its entirety and replace it with a Palestinian-Islamic state.

There is widespread opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state in Israel, which many see as a reward for terror and an incentive to commit more atrocities, particularly after Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

On Feb. 21, the Israeli Knesset voted 99-11 to back the government’s decision to reject any unilateral recognition of “Palestine.” All coalition lawmakers and most members of the Zionist opposition parties voted in favor of supporting a Cabinet statement rejecting “international diktats.”

The Palestinian Authority has asked the United Nations to schedule a vote on its admission as a full member of the world body later this month.

The Security Council is expected to hold its quarterly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian file on April 18, which will be a ministerial-level meeting. The Palestinians have targeted this date as one in which they hope the council will put their application forward for a vote.

For Ramallah to gain full U.N. status, at least nine of the 15 members of the Security Council must approve the request, and then two-thirds of the General Assembly would have to support it in a vote.

However, the United States, which holds veto power as a permanent member of the council, has signaled it will block the move.

“Our position has not changed,” U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood told reporters last Tuesday, noting that the issue of full Palestinian U.N. membership is one of the final-status issues that need to be decided in bilateral political talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

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