Australia policy shift on the Israeli settlements is regrettable and a step
back of the realization of the two state solution
Canberra November 26, 2013
(Transltion of this article appears in Arabic section)
Australia is isolating itself from the international community by reversing its position on the illegality of Israeli settlements and voting against two resolutions and abstaining on another two resolutions on the question of Palestine, in the 25th Session of the UN Fourth Committee last week.
The United Nation General Assembly will convene tomorrow, Tuesday, November 26th, New York time to vote on Four Resolutions on the Question of Palestine. This vote will be final and it is hoped Australia will alter its voting from the previous UN Fourth Committee.
The Fourth committee resolutions condemned Israeli settlements and called for respect and the application of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, also known as the Law of Occupation, to Israel’s on-going occupation of Palestine.
Despite settlements being illegal and the international community upholding the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to Palestine, Australia abstained from any condemnation of Israeli settlements and application of the Law of Occupation.
Australia has reversed its position on settlements and on the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and now stands with few countries against the international community, which recognizes Israeli settlements as illegal. The previous Australian Government voted in favor of these resolutions, which upheld international law.
Ambassador Izzat Abdulhadi, Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, has criticized this policy shift.
Ambassador Abdulhadi expressed “disappointment and regret at the new voting patterns of Australia.” He also indicated “this policy shift will cast a shadow on the current good relations between Australia and Arab and Islamic countries”.
The decision of the Coalition Government has created a real concerns and deep disappointment among the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic communities and within other sectors of the Australian community.
The General Delegation of Palestine hopes that in tomorrow’s General Assembly voting, the Federal government will shift its vote on the four resolutions from the Fourth committee.