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Arab League wants Australia to reconsider recognising Jerusalem as Israeli and abide by international law

East Jerusalem is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 December, 2018

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The Arab League decided to dispatch a "high-ranking delegation" to Brazil and Australia to inform officials there on the need to "abide by international law" concerning Jerusalem on Tuesday.
The Arab League adopted a resolution calling on Australia and Brazil to "abide by international law" concerning the status of Jerusalem, after reports emerged of plans to move their embassies.

The Arab League decided to dispatch a "high-ranking delegation" to Brazil and Australia to inform officials there on the need to "abide by international law" concerning Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting at the League's Cairo headquarters attended by delegates from member countries.

The moves comes after Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro announced in November his intention to move his country's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On Saturday Australia announced its recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel's capital, although a contentious embassy shift from Tel Aviv will not occur until a peace settlement is achieved.

Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, declaring the entire city its "eternal and indivisible capital", in a move not recognised by most of the international community.

Palestinians claim the eastern part as the capital of a future Palestinian state. East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law. 

The Palestinian leadership slammed Australia and Brazil over their plans.

In December Trump's US administration decided to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and declared the city Israel's capital. 

The embassy was transferred in May in a move that sparked outrage in across the Arab and Muslim world. 

Most countries have avoided moving their embassies to Jerusalem to avoid hindering peace talks on the city's final status.

Meanwhile the Arab League also called on the UN Security Council to "assume its responsibilities by putting pressure on Israel... and stop its aggression against the Palestinian people".

Israel has carried out a string of operations in recent weeks after deadly attacks in the West Bank, also occupied by Israel since 1967.

In response, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to "legalise" thousands of settlement homes considered unlawfully built, even by Israel.

On Tuesday he repeated his promise to "strengthen" settlement activity, during a visit to the site of a Thursday shooting attack that killed two Israeli soldiers.

"It's just a question of time until we find the killer," he said. "We will settle our accounts with him as we have settled with the others."

On Saturday, Israeli troops demolished the home of a Palestinian accused of the May killing of a soldier.

Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians who carry out attacks against Israelis, arguing it is a deterrent.

Critics say it is counter-productive and amounts to collective punishment.

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