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Australia refuses to call East Jerusalem 'occupied'

Members of the Israeli security force stand guard at the Zaatara checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus on May 30, 2014Australia has decided to remove the term “occupied” when referring to east Jerusalem, a move blasted by Palestinians as “toxic” and an ostacle to peace and welcomed by Israel. The issue flared in the Senate this week with Attorney-General George Brandis issuing a statement to clarify Canberra’s stance on the controversial question of the legality of settler homes. “The description of east Jerusalem as ‘occupied’ east Jerusalem is a term freighted with pejorative implications which is neither appropriate nor useful. “It should not and will not be the practice of the Australian government to describe areas of negotiation in such judgmental language.”

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