Australia on Friday told citizens to take precautionary measures while travelling in neighbouring Muslim-majority Indonesia, ahead of an expected move to shift the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce, as soon as Saturday, that his government will follow US President Donald Trump’s lead and recognise the contested holy city as Israel’s capital.
Scores of Australians preparing to jet off to Bali and other tropical island destinations for upcoming summer holidays should “exercise a high degree of caution”, the Department of Foreign Affairs warned.
Officials in Canberra told AFP news agency they expected the announcement to come on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, but cautioned that events could yet alter those plans.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel regards all of the city – including the eastern sector it annexed after the 1967 Middle East war – as its capital while Palestinian leaders, with broad international backing, want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.