Malcolm Turnbull and Benjamin Netanyahu are set to sign agreements on technology and air services when the Israeli prime minister make an historic visit this week.
Mr Netanyahu and wife Sara will arrived in Sydney on Wednesday, marking the first visit to Australia by a sitting Israeli prime minister.
About 50 people gathered outside the Israeli embassy in Canberra on Monday, waving Palestinian flags and holding placards bearing slogans such as “End the Occupation” and “Free Palestine”, with further protests expected over the coming week amid tight security.
Mr Turnbull said the friendship between Israel and Australia dated back to the establishment of Israel in 1948.
“It is anchored in our shared values, commitment to democracy and mutual interest in a rules-based international system and an open, global economy,” Mr Turnbull said in a statement.
The leaders will discuss expanding co-operation in cyber-security, innovation and science, energy and resources and the environment.
The two countries will sign an agreement on technological innovation and research and development, providing a framework for scientists, engineers and businesses to cooperate.
The Israeli embassy said a new air services agreement would “facilitate commercial air transport services as a part of the burgeoning trade ties between Israel and Australia”.
Mr Netanyahu is bringing with him a large business delegation.
More than 60 prominent Australians, including former Labor politicians, senior legal professionals and clergy, have signed a statement opposing Mr Netanyahu’s visit because of his government’s policies towards Palestinians.
Labor leader Bill Shorten says he’ll be voicing support for a two-state solution when he meets with Mr Netanyahu, telling reporters his party had long-supported that policy.
“We support the right of both Palestinians and Israelis to live within secure borders,” he said, adding expanding Israeli settlements were a roadblock to the two-state solution.
Mr Netanyahu will also meet with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.