Listen Live
    The Israeli flag flutters in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the city of Jerusalem, on December 1, 2017

    Malaysia PM: Countries Have No Right to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

    © AFP 2019 / THOMAS COEX
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    9266
    Subscribe

    Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticized Australia’s move to recognize West Jerusalem on Sunday, saying that countries have “no rights” to do so.

    Australia announced this week that it would recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but will not yet move the embassy from Tel Aviv.

    READ MORE: US Court Rejects Lawsuit Over Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

    “Jerusalem should remain as it is now and not the capital of Israel,” Mahathir said on the sidelines of an event in Bangkok. “Jerusalem has always been under Palestine, so why are they taking the initiative to divide Jerusalem […] They have no rights.”

    Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, has been a prominent supporter of the two-state solution, as Jerusalem is considered to be a sacred place to Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths, making it a major obstacle to an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Palestine wants East Jerusalem to be recognized as the capital of a Palestinian state, while Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the eastern sector that was annexed in the 1967 Middle East war.

    Israel’s foreign ministry on Sunday praised Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision, calling it “a step in right direction.” However, Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s minister for regional cooperation, remained critical, saying that 'there is no division between the east of the city and west of the city.'

    Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat claimed Australia’s decision was due to “petty domestic politics.”

    “All of Jerusalem remains a final-status issue for negotiations, while East Jerusalem, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory,” he said.

    In May, the United States relocated its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, prompting outrage across the Muslim world. Brazil, the Czech Republic, Guatemala and Honduras have also recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. The United Nations has urged member states to refrain from moving diplomatic missions to Jerusalem until the city’s legal status is settled.

    Related:

    Palestinians Blast Australian Decision to Recognise Jerusalem as Israeli Capital
    Australia Recognises West Jerusalem as Israeli Capital
    Attempted Ramming Attack in Al-Bireh, North of Jerusalem, One Injured - IDF
    Two Officers Stabbed in Old City of Jerusalem, Attacker Shot - Police
    Israeli Ambassador to US 'Hopeful' Poland Will Move Its Embassy to Jerusalem
    Tags:
    capital, recognition, Mahathir Mohamad, Australia, Israel, Malaysia, Jerusalem
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik