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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

Australia Will Refer to Judea and Samaria as ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories'

The Australian government considers Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria to be in violation of international law, and will return to using the term “occupied Palestinian territories,” Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong told parliament on Tuesday, August 8.

“The Australian government is strengthening its opposition to settlements by affirming they are illegal under international law and a significant obstacle to peace,” Wong said.

Still, Wong said, Australia would remain a “committed friend of Israel.” The change “reflects legal advice and UN Security Council resolutions” and will have Australia use the same language as the UK, New Zealand, and Europe, Wong pointed out.

It comes after Canberra issued a statement last month saying that they were “deeply concerned” by the advancement of settlement plans, which they argued reduced “the prospects for peace” but did not say were illegal.

Australian ministers refrained from using the terms “occupied” or “occupation” in relation to Judea and Samaria since 2014. Before that, the terms were used inconsistently, according to a report from Australian media. (JPost / VFI News)

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