Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Australia Reintroduces ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ Term

Australia's foreign policy shifts with the reintroduction of 'Occupied Palestinian Territories' term. Stance on illegal Israeli settlements and peace prospects highlighted.

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Ali Tariq Shah
Ali Tariq Shah
Ali Tariq Shah is an experienced journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth and sharing important stories with the world. With four years of experience in the industry, Shah has covered a wide range of topics, from politics and business to entertainment and sports.
Occupied Palestinian Territories

The Australian government is set to reintroduce the term “Occupied Palestinian Territories” to its foreign policy language, with a focus on condemning “illegal” Israeli settlements. This decision aims to strengthen objections to such settlements prior to the upcoming Labor party national conference. While this move prompted criticism from the Coalition opposition, accusing the Labor party of letting internal forces dictate foreign policy, the government maintains that it aligns with the stance of key allies.

The spotlight will be on the Labor national conference taking place in Brisbane, where certain delegates are anticipated to push for a more assertive stance. This includes advocating for a timeline to recognize Palestinian statehood. While the government hasn’t signaled complete readiness to embrace this particular approach, it is determined to adopt more precise and explicit language concerning the occupation issue.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has been active in conveying the government’s position to fellow Labor MPs and senators. In doing so, she has underscored the deep-seated concerns about the increasingly dwindling prospects of achieving peace in the region. The government’s central goal is to reinforce its opposition to settlements by reiterating their illegality under international law and their role in obstructing the path to peace.

Wong offered further clarity by explaining that the government is reverting to the terminologies used by past administrations, which explicitly refer to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”. She offered a rationale for this stance, highlighting its alignment with UN Security Council resolutions and the approaches taken by pivotal partners such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the European Union.

The adoption of this terminology holds a broader purpose for the government – it aims to accentuate the fact that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza emerged following the events of the 1967 war, and that this occupation continues to persist. By embracing this stance, Australia is reaffirming its dedication to pursuing a two-state solution, one that fosters coexistence between Israel and an envisioned future Palestinian state.

Amid these developments, the government has also engaged in dialogue with the Israeli ambassador on this crucial matter, reiterating its commitment to a strong bond with Israel. Wong emphasized that Australia has undertaken efforts to recalibrate its international positioning while actively opposing any instances of anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. She went on to reaffirm Australia’s condemnation of terrorism and violence targeted at civilians. This multi-pronged approach underscores the government’s holistic perspective in addressing complex regional dynamics.

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