Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lauded Australia’s position on the legality of settler homes as “honest and fair.” He cited this week’s statement to the Senate by Australian Attorney-General George Brandis, who said:  "The description of East Jerusalem as 'occupied' East Jerusalem is a term freighted with pejorative implications which is neither appropriate nor useful, he said."It should not and will not be the practice of the Australian government to describe areas of negotiation in such judgmental language."

Canberra supported a peaceful solution to the dispute "which recognizes the right of Israel to exist peacefully within secure borders and also recognizes the aspiration to statehood of the Palestinian people."

This position contrasted with the broad chorus of flat condemnation from world capitals and the UN of Israel’s decision to order hundreds of new building starts in Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to the Palestinian unity government established on Monday in Ramallah with the backing of the Hamas Islamic terrorist movement.