Brace Yourselves for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

Brace Yourselves, New Yorkers, You’re Due for a Major Quake

A couple of hundred thousand years ago, an M 7.2 earthquake shook what is now New Hampshire. Just a few thousand years ago, an M 7.5 quake ruptured just off the coast of Massachusetts. And then there’s New York.

Since the first western settlers arrived there, the state has witnessed 200 quakes of magnitude 2.0 or greater, making it the third most seismically active state east of the Mississippi (Tennessee and South Carolina are ranked numbers one and two, respectively). About once a century, New York has also experienced an M 5.0 quake capable of doing real damage.

The most recent one near New York City occurred in August of 1884. Centered off Long Island’s Rockaway Beach, it was felt over 70,000 square miles. It also opened enormous crevices near the Brooklyn reservoir and knocked down chimneys and cracked walls in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Police on the Brooklyn Bridge said it swayed “as if struck by a hurricane” and worried the bridge’s towers would collapse. Meanwhile, residents throughout New York and New Jersey reported sounds that varied from explosions to loud rumblings, sometimes to comic effect. At the funeral of Lewis Ingler, a small group of mourners were watching as the priest began to pray. The quake cracked an enormous mirror behind the casket and knocked off a display of flowers that had been resting on top of it. When it began to shake the casket’s silver handles, the mourners decided the unholy return of Lewis Ingler was more than they could take and began flinging themselves out windows and doors.

Not all stories were so light. Two people died during the quake, both allegedly of fright. Out at sea, the captain of the brig Alice felt a heavy lurch that threw him and his crew, followed by a shaking that lasted nearly a minute. He was certain he had hit a wreck and was taking on water.

A day after the quake, the editors of The New York Times sought to allay readers’ fear. The quake, they said, was an unexpected fluke never to be repeated and not worth anyone’s attention: “History and the researches of scientific men indicate that great seismic disturbances occur only within geographical limits that are now well defined,” they wrote in an editorial. “The northeastern portion of the United States . . . is not within those limits.” The editors then went on to scoff at the histrionics displayed by New York residents when confronted by the quake: “They do not stop to reason or to recall the fact that earthquakes here are harmless phenomena. They only know that the solid earth, to whose immovability they have always turned with confidence when everything else seemed transitory, uncertain, and deceptive, is trembling and in motion, and the tremor ceases long before their disturbed minds become tranquil.”

That’s the kind of thing that drives Columbia’s Heather Savage nuts.

New York, she says, is positively vivisected by faults. Most of them fall into two groups—those running northeast and those running northwest. Combined they create a brittle grid underlying much of Manhattan.

Across town, Charles Merguerian has been studying these faults the old‐fashioned way: by getting down and dirty underground. He’s spent the past forty years sloshing through some of the city’s muckiest places: basements and foundations, sewers and tunnels, sometimes as deep as 750 feet belowground. His tools down there consist primarily of a pair of muck boots, a bright blue hard hat, and a pickax. In public presentations, he claims he is also ably abetted by an assistant hamster named Hammie, who maintains his own website, which includes, among other things, photos of the rodent taking down Godzilla.

That’s just one example why, if you were going to cast a sitcom starring two geophysicists, you’d want Savage and Merguerian to play the leading roles. Merguerian is as eccentric and flamboyant as Savage is earnest and understated. In his press materials, the former promises to arrive at lectures “fully clothed.” Photos of his “lab” depict a dingy porta‐john in an abandoned subway tunnel. He actively maintains an archive of vintage Chinese fireworks labels at least as extensive as his list of publications, and his professional website includes a discography of blues tunes particularly suitable for earthquakes. He calls female science writers “sweetheart” and somehow manages to do so in a way that kind of makes them like it (although they remain nevertheless somewhat embarrassed to admit it).

It’s Merguerian’s boots‐on‐the‐ground approach that has provided much of the information we need to understand just what’s going on underneath Gotham. By his count, Merguerian has walked the entire island of Manhattan: every street, every alley. He’s been in most of the tunnels there, too. His favorite one by far is the newest water tunnel in western Queens. Over the course of 150 days, Merguerian mapped all five miles of it. And that mapping has done much to inform what we know about seismicity in New York.

Iran and Korea’s Nuclear Collusion

The extraordinary claims were made in a paper composed by the official Iranian

Resistance movement. The document asserts numerous Iranian officials have travelled to North Korea to discuss nuclear weapons. It comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attacked Iran for violation of United Nations (UN) resolutions this week.

According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) document, many Iranian officials have been in clandestine talks with Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship over nuclear weapons policy.

In exchange for obtaining military, nuclear and missile equipment, the Iranian regime sends oil to North Korea, the explosive paper claims.

It reads: “The Iranian regime is North Korea’s strategic ally.

“Many of the regime’s current officials, including Khamenei, current President Hassan Rouhani, and Mohsen Rezai, the former Commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), have all travelled to North Korea to discuss the nuclear programme.”

Iran and North Korea are cooperating on nuclear weapons, an NCRI document has claimed (Image: GETTY)

Iran news

Iran is conducting secret nuclear deals with North Korea, the document claims (Image: GETTY)

Missile and nuclear experts from North Korea have had a consistent presence in Iran since the Iran-Iraq war, the NCRI paper states.

The document, entitled ‘Iran’s Ballistic Buildup: The march towards nuclear-capable missiles’, purports to know the “exact location of the place where North Koreans stay”, contending it is: “End of Babaie Highway heading to the east, past Morvarid Hall, at Khomeini complex.”

It also mentions specific individuals whom it claims are involved.

According to compiled reports, IRGC delegates and commanders regularly visit North Korea, with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh allegedly present during the third nuclear test conducted by North Korea on February 12, 2013.

An Iranian surface-to-surface Qiam-1 (Rising) missile in an undisclosed location in Iran (Image: GETTY)

Iran news

Mike Pompeo recently called out Iran on its nuclear weapons policy (Image: GETTY)

The document continues to implicate Fakhrizadeh, saying during his North Korea visit he stayed at Hotel Koryo – considered to be one of the most luxurious establishments in the city of Pyongyang.

Of his group’s revelations, NCRI representative Hossein Abedini told “The ballistic missile programme has always been a part of the Iranian regime’s malign and destructive regional policy.

“It constitutes one of the pillars of the regime to guarantee the survival of the theocratic dictatorship.”

The regime change champion added: “The regime has squandered enormous sums from Iran’s wealth to invest in its missile programme during the recent years in the context of its warmongering and destabilising policies in the region.

”The NCRI identified and exposed the location of 42 IRGC centres across Iran involved in the manufacturing, testing and launching of ballistic missiles.

”These ballistic missiles are largely based on North Korean design and model.”

Iran news

An Iranian surface-to-surface Qiam-1 (Rising) missile (Image: GETTY)

The NCRI disclosures come after the UK spoke to criticise Rouhani’s Iranian regime at the UN Security Council this week along with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The UK’s UN ambassador Karen Pierce said: “Iran needs to take steps to address the concerns of this Council seriously and to recognise that its expeditionary and expansionist security doctrine will only provoke more challenges and lead to greater instability within the region.”

Meanwhile, Mr Pompeo urged the UN to ban Iranian missile tests.

He said: “Iran has exploited the goodwill of nations and defied multiple Security Council resolutions in its quest for a robust ballistic missile force.

Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani is the current president of Iran (Image: GETTY)

“The United States will never stand for this.

“No nation that seeks peace and prosperity in the Middle East should either.”

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – or so-called Iran Nuclear deal – was intended to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons programme and thwart its ability to create a nuclear bomb.

The accord was struck between Iran and global superpowers, China, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States (who later withdrew under President Trump).

Of the deal, Mr Abedini said: “It gave a lot of unnecessary concessions to the regime, which was in a very weak position.

“It was time to get rid of all its nuclear activities but unfortunately they gave a lot of concessions which did not work and made the regime more brazen.”

Over 40 More Injured Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Over 40 Injured in Gaza 'March Of Return' Protest (+Video)Over 40 Injured in Gaza ‘March Of Return’ Protest (+Video)

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – At least 46 people were injured in clashes with Israeli forces while protesting along Gaza border on Friday evening.

  • December, 15, 2018 – 15:48
  • World

Israeli forces used teargas and fired rubber-coated bullets to disperse the protesters who took part in the Great March of Return.

Several injured were seen being carried away by the emergency services.

The Great March of Return, launched in late March, forms a series of protests along the Israeli-Palestinian border to demand the right for Palestinians to return to their families’ pre-1948 homes.

Israel Kills Two More Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

By Esat Firat

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA): Israeli forces killed two Palestinians on Friday near the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Mahmoud Yousef Nakhleh, 18, and Mohammad Nahla, 16, were killed by Israeli troops during a demonstration near the Al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, said a ministry statement.

Both victims were shot in the abdomen with live ammunition and died from wounds at the Ramallah medical center.

Also according to the ministry, five other Palestinians sustained gunshot injuries in various parts of the occupied West Bank on Friday, while dozens of others suffered the ill effects of teargas.

West Bank Palestinians stage demonstrations each Friday to protest Israeli settlement expansion and Israel’s massive “separation barrier,” which snakes through the occupied territory, isolating many small Palestinian communities.

Meanwhile in Gaza, on Friday evening, Israeli forces wounded 120 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children, 1 woman and 2 paramedics in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the sixth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 8 months ago.

According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the seventh week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, the demonstrators abstained from burning tires while the attempts to cross the border fence and throw stones and incendiary balloons were completely absent.

Meanwhile in West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Israeli army has detained roughly 100 Palestinians since dawn Thursday, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Association said in a Friday statement.

According to the NGO, the latest spate of arrests included two members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Palestine’s long-moribund parliament.

The association went on to assert that the Israeli army’s latest arrest campaign had seen numerous Palestinian homes ransacked.

On Thursday, two Israelis were killed — and two others injured — in a drive-by shooting near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Following the incident, the Israeli army launched a manhunt for the alleged Palestinian assailant, who reportedly fled the scene in the wake of the attack.

Residents of the area told Anadolu Agency earlier that two Palestinians in a car had opened fire on a group of Jewish settlers.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Israeli army has since closed all entrances into Ramallah and ordered all forces in the area to remain on standby.

According to local media reports, Jewish settlers vandalized several Palestinian vehicles and homes in the village of Netin east of Ramallah after the attack.

Notably, Thursday’s attack occurred hours after three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces for their alleged involvement in an earlier West Bank shooting attack that left two Israelis dead and nine others injured.

According to Israeli media reports, Israeli forces on Thursday killed a fourth Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank after he allegedly tried to ram his vehicle into a group of Israeli soldiers in the city of Hebron (Al-Khalil).

Additional report from

[Photo: An injured Palestinian demonstrator is being carried away after Israeli forces’ intervention in a “Great March of Return” demonstration near Al Bureij Refugee Camp on the Gaza-Israel border, in Gaza City, Gaza on November 30, 2018. Photographer: Hassan Jedi/AA]

Pakistan Counters India’s Nuclear Horn

Ammar Akbar |

“National missile defense is poised to retrigger a proliferation of weapons, notably nuclear missiles. Everything that goes in the direction of proliferation is a bad direction”, said Jacques Chirac, former president of France. However, the recent S-400 purchase deal inked between India and Russia has not only prompted an arms race but also created the question of balance of power in the region.

While India’s hegemonic ambitions have always propelled it to acquire state-of-the-art weapons, Pakistan, on the other hand, has made sure that a strategic balance is maintained to meet any challenges to its sovereignty. Therefore, Pakistan is fully aware of its security and defense challenges.

It’s not a surprise that Pakistan’s indigenous cruise missiles have the capability to beat the layered defense shield of S-400 and hit its target with pinpoint accuracy.

In actuality, it is the opacity of Pakistan’s missile and defense system technology, which would leave the adversary completely surprised. Similarly, the inherent weakness of the Russian S-400 anti-missile system and advanced missile systems of Pakistan make this nation of Quaid ready for any undesirable military adventures by the enemy.

The S-400 Triumf system, ‘considered’ to be the most advanced air defense system, has been in service for more than a decade but its performance and operationality on the field is marred with skepticism and uncertainty. On paper, the defense system is capable of engaging with all types of aerial targets including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400km, at an altitude of up to 30km.

These abilities sound impressive but the failure of S-400 in intercepting American Tomahawks missiles targeting Bashar al-Assad’s Al Shayrat military airbase outside Homs, casted doubts on the capabilities of the system. Russian political statements previously advocating S-400’s effectiveness weakened when senior Russian officials accepted that further improvements were needed to make the system more defense capable.

It must be kept in mind that the S-400 has not been tested against American and Pakistani missile technology. With Tomahawks, the American cruise missile, having a range of 690 miles and ability to skim the surface of the earth and take complicated routes to a target to avoid possible interception, it seems that the Russians would require significant updates in its S-400 system.

What’s interesting is how the Pakistani missile technology was also designed to penetrate the defenses of the S-400 system. It’s not a surprise that Pakistan’s indigenous cruise missiles have the capability to beat the layered defense shield of S-400 and hit its target with pinpoint accuracy. Babur, Raad, and Ababeel cruise missiles, the crowns of Pakistan’s cruise missile technology all have the defensive features to safeguard the borders.

The third Pakistani masterpiece is a warhead carrier developed indigenously to counter the strategic imbalance created by India’s procurement of S-400 is Ababeel.

So much so that even International defense experts have labeled Babur as the Pakistani version of Tomahawk. Catherine McArdle Kelleher, a senior American national security expert, has identified the unique similarities between the two cruise missiles. Technically, the technological edge of the cruise over ballistic missile is the maneuverability of the former.

And when it comes to conquering S-400, the Pakistani cruise missiles with multiple stealth capabilities totally dilute the pride of the enemy’s confidence in its defense systems. The ingenuity of Pakistani scientists in missile technology is remarkable. Not only do they accomplish to penetrate the current Indian Ballistic Missile Defence but also have the technology to undermine the abilities of over-hyped S-400.

Even our adversaries have long agreed on the superiority of the Pakistani missile technology. For instance, Lt Gen Sarath Chand, Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) of Indian Army, had already commended the brilliance and technical advancement of Pakistan’s defense industry.

The first line of defense against any misadventure in case of miscalculation and over-reliance on S-400 defense systems by India will be Babur. The cruise missile Babur is an all-weather nuclear capable land, sea and air launch capable missile. With a range of 700km and other distinct features such as Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and all-time Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) technologies, which facilitate it to engage in different types of targets with pinpoint accuracy even in the absence of GPS navigation makes it impossible for S-400 batteries stationed across the border to interpret the subsonic missile.

Technically speaking, it’s low-flying, terrain-hugging missile and its flight capability of less than 5km over sea level makes it easy to evade the radar coverage of S-400. Russian defense sources have already disclosed that the maximum engagement attitude for S-400 interceptor missiles is between 15-20km. The nuclear-capable Babur missile even has an advantage over the current Indian missile defense system as it can beat the interception in the endo-atmospheric stage.

The second missile, which has the ability to neutralize the enemy’s defense, is Raad. Raad, which is also known as Hatf VIII, is similar to Babur in technology but is a far more advanced air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). Due to limited information on the missile’s full capabilities, the opacity surrounding its stealth technology is to leave the enemy defense systems unprepared and S-400 is one of those systems.

Gen Khalid Kidwai, former head of Pakistan’s strategic command, has called Shaheen-3 Pakistan’s answer to India’s so-called second capability. With 2750km range, the Shahaan-3 is a power to reckon with.

With an official disclosed the range of 350km, the missile is loaded with self-navigating technology and can fly on a non-ballistic very low altitude trajectory in order to avoid radar detection. Furthermore, its land and sea launch capabilities have included Pakistan in the League of Nations, which has both land and sea strategic standoff capability.

The third Pakistani masterpiece is a warhead carrier developed indigenously to counter the strategic imbalance created by India’s procurement of S-400 is Ababeel. It’s a great achievement for the Pakistani nation, its armed forces and the scientists who left no stone unturned to successfully test the missile. No doubt Pakistan has achieved a milestone in missile technology.

The concern and the recognition of Pakistan’s MIRV technology by Robert Ashley, the director of the American Defence Intelligence Agency, further solidifies the significance of the development. One must note that in military warfare, future enhancements of adversary’s defense technology are taken into account prior to the development of new defense equipment. Ababeel, a surface-to-surface nuclear-capable missile with the 2,200km target range, was one such project.

What has made this missile a center of attention in the western and Indian media was its Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology. If we explain the feature in simple words then one can understand the lethality of the missile in this modern age. The S-400 system boasts a multiple layered defense protection against hostile incoming missiles.

Despite high claims of having the capacity to engage with hundreds of incoming targets simultaneously, the success rate of S-400’s interceptor missiles is not 100 percent as witnessed in Syria. Therefore, Ababeel’s MIRV system, which is capable of launching multiple warheads with inbuilt decoys- flying objects to exhaust interceptor missiles- at mid-course and the terminal stage, has full ability to counter the effectiveness of S-400 air defense system.

Pakistan’s necessary strategic reliance on tactical nuclear weapons-a detailed review will be covered in later articles-is response to Indian cold war doctrine of which S-400 is the cornerstone.

Pakistan has not only updated its missile defense technology to deter the hegemonic policing ambitions of India in the region but also made sure the Indian Ocean littoral is secured. Gen Khalid Kidwai, former head of Pakistan’s strategic command, has called Shaheen-3 Pakistan’s answer to India’s so-called second capability. With 2750km range, the Shahaan-3 is a power to reckon with. With built-in MIRV technology, the missile has full capability to deter Indian second-strike capability from the Andaman and Nicobar islands and penetrate the blanket coverage of S-400.

The advanced terminal guidance system on board explains the combination of deterrence features on board of Shaheen 3. In fact, Pakistan’s own second-strike capability achieved through Submarine Launch missile system, Babur 3, has taken hostile forces by surprise. As a result, the Indian army has triggered an arms race by spending billions of dollars on anti-missile defense systems.

Upgrading the ballistic missiles and turning to a nuclear triad capable state was the only option for Pakistan for it was important to maintain the balance of power in the region. It is worth mentioning that Pakistan is fully combat ready to counter Indian aggression be it on land, sea or air. Pakistan’s necessary strategic reliance on tactical nuclear weapons-a detailed review will be covered in later articles-is response to Indian cold war doctrine of which S-400 is the cornerstone.

Hence, the strengthening of Pakistan’s defense industry is a direct response to those powers, which dream to weaken Pakistan in the international society. As Sun Tzu, the ancient military strategist said, “Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack”.

Apart from the technical and expert analysis on the impact of the recent S-400 Indian deal, it is also pertinent to discuss the geopolitical analysis, especially when India, Russia, China, and Pakistan are members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The gradual yet explicit shifts in regional partnerships could destabilize the region if the powerful governments fail to take into account the ground realities.

Anti-state elements tried each and every technique to destabilize our country. The response was simple, the harder you press us, the stronger we will emerge.

Buzzwords such as nuclear proliferation, nuclear suppliers group and sanctions are becoming irrelevant while America’s strategic partner is being given special treatment. The vivid example is America’s new strategic partner, India, whose complete violations of international obligations under Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) are justified as a diplomatic understanding between the USA and India.

Michael Kugelman, an expert on South Asia, argues that despite the converging of American and Indian interests, Russia’s relationship with India remains strong. Similarly, America’s nuclear deal with India, despite non-signatory of the NPT, is a clear message to promote India at the cost of Pakistan while disturbing the regional peace and security.  However, Pakistan is aware of these changes and has credibly maintained its defense capabilities to defeat the hegemonic maneuvers of India and its partners.

Read more: India tests Brahmos missile in “extreme conditions”

Sadly, if Russia continues to prioritize its security equipment sales over peace in the region then SCO would follow the same trajectory as SAARC. Any significant arms deal should go through the SCO platform and Pakistan especially should be taken into confidence due to its important geopolitical location. The dream of India to act as a big brother will remain a delusion as Pakistan’s hard power is globally recognized.

Thus, Russia should rethink the S-400 deal and amend relations with Pakistan to benefit from its counter-terrorism and defense industry expertise. The resilience of Pakistan army in the war against terror is proof that as a nation we prefer peace over violence. The SCO and its member Russia have to follow zero-sum free policies towards Pakistan, as it will boost Pakistan’s role in the organization. The objectives of the organization have to take precedence over national interests.

The state-of-the-art weapons are the reminder to those who underestimate the full spectrum deterrence capabilities of Pakistan. Pakistan believes in the peaceful rise of its neighbors but not at the cost of hawkish policies of the surrounding nations.

It’s a defining moment for Pakistan because, despite years of uncertainty and internal and external challenges, Pakistan emerged as the winner. Anti-state elements tried each and every technique to destabilize our country. The response was simple, the harder you press us, the stronger we will emerge. While Pakistan fought for global peace, India spent billions to upgrade its defense abilities to bully other nations and S-400 deal part of the game.

But rest assured, despite economic constraints Pakistan’s defense industry has become one of the best in the world and is capable enough to produce missiles and tactical weapons, which can sheer through enemies defense lines irrespective of S-400 systems. Defense experts in warfare studies would remember and quote this act as a perfect example of the balance of power maneuvering.

The state-of-the-art weapons are the reminder to those who underestimate the full spectrum deterrence capabilities of Pakistan. Pakistan believes in the peaceful rise of its neighbors but not at the cost of hawkish policies of the surrounding nations.

Read more: Does S-400 air defense missile system signal an end of Pakistan…

We understand the social-economic issues of the subcontinent but survival is paramount in the international comity of nations. When countries– such as India– spend billions on arms purchases and disregard poverty-ridden public, than necessary measures have to be taken by peace-loving nations like Pakistan to safeguard sovereignty because as the father of the nation said, “There is no power on Earth that can undo Pakistan.”

Ammar Akbar Chaudhry is alumni of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He is International Youth Ambassador at Global Youth Parliament, is a Defence Analyst, and author at ‘Hilal’ magazine, Pakistan Armed Forces. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

Measure Those Who Worship in the Holy City (Revelation 11:1)

Australia recognizes west Jerusalem as Israels capital

Australia formally recognises West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of Middle East policy, but will not move its embassy there immediately, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday.

“Australia now recognises West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel,” Morrison said. “We look forward to moving our embassy to West Jerusalem when practical,” he told reporters in Sydney. Morrison said in October he was open to shifting Australia’s embassy from Tel Aviv. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May delighted Israel, infuriated Palestinians and upset the wider Arab world and Western allies. Morrison’s unexpected announcement in October was viewed cynically because it came days before a crucial by-election in an electorate with a strong Jewish representation, a poll his party subsequently lost.

It also drew criticism from Muslim-majority neighbours such as Indonesia and Malaysia, neither of whom formally recognise Israel’s right to exist. Arab countries worried that the move would unnecessarily inflame tensions in the Middle East.

Morrison said Australia would not move its embassy to West Jerusalem until the city’s final status was determined, but said trade and defence offices would be opened there.

He confirmed Australia’s support for a two-state solution with a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

“What we are saying is we’ve got to move this forward. The rancid stalemate has to be broken,” he said.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Saturday that the decision to recognize west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but not move the embassy there was a “humiliating backdown” from the October by-election campaign.

“What I’m worried is that Mr. Morrison put his political interest ahead of our national interest,” Shorten told reporters.