Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that he was considering transferring his country's embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the holy city as Israel's capital during a phone call with his Israeli counterpart.
"We're committed to a two-state solution, but frankly, it hasn't been going that well, not a lot of progress has been made, and you don't keep doing the same thing and expect different results", Morrison said Tuesday morning, speaking from Parliament House.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had recently spoken to Morrison and welcomed the Australian policy shift.
Defeat for Morrison's candidate - in a constituency with a sizeable Jewish population - would spell the end of his government's parliamentary majority and a bleak future for his months-old stint at the top of Australia's rough-and-tumble political heap.
Furthermore, the Palestinians are already protesting, arguing that a unilateral recognition of Jerusalem "would make Australia an worldwide pariah on this important foreign-policy issue" and threatening that it would hurt the country's relations with Arab and Muslim-majority countries.
At the same time, it must be noted that the new Australian government is not about to recognize Palestinian statehood.
The two leaders also discussed strengthening bilateral relations, deepening defense ties and a prospective agreement to appoint military attaches to both embassies.
Arab leaders, organizations express solidarity with Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Gulf states in a military campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. If US sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world.
Global consensus has been that Jerusalem's status should be settled in a peace deal and recognising it as a capital for either side would prejudice one party over the other.
He further claimed that Australia's decision on Jerusalem al-Quds would not change the country's longstanding support for the so-called two-state solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Turnbull's government had explicitly distanced itself from the decision by Trump to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as "unhelpful" to the peace process.
He said it may be possible for his nation to support a two-state solution and recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital - something that Australia had "to date assumed" was unfeasible.
In the Palestinian city of Ramallah, Shaath, a former foreign minister, said Morrison's announcement was a hostile action that destroyed the chances of peace. As well as the West Bank and Gaza, Israel captured the eastern side of the city in 1967 from Jordanian forces.
Morrison came to power in August after a revolt by hardline conservatives in the Liberal party ousted his more moderate predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull.
New Zealand's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, also said the proposal would not help Middle East peace.
Australia would be the second major country, after the United States, to make such a move.