Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed on Sunday his support for the US embassy to Israel moving from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, further adding that “all embassies should come here.”
In a statement during the Israeli security cabinet’s weekly meeting, Netanyahu emphasized the “fundamental” relationship between the United States and Israel.
“There is no substitute for this alliance. Our relations are tight and getting tighter, and I would like to take this opportunity to make it unequivocally clear that our position has always been, and will always be, that the US embassy needs to be here, in Jerusalem,” the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Our position has always been, and will always be, that the US embassy needs to be here, in Jerusalem." pic.twitter.com/cIcOLtHYxq
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) January 29, 2017
“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and it is proper that not only should the American embassy be here, but all embassies should come here, and I believe that over time most of them will indeed come here, to Jerusalem.”
Netanyahu’s statements came two days after US President Donald Trump told Fox News that it was “too early” to talk about his controversial campaign promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Mark Zell, the co-chairman of the Republican Overseas Israel group had accused Netanyahu earlier on Sunday of being behind Trump’s decision to delay the embassy move, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Just in: PLO will revoke its recognition of Israel if President Trump moves the embassy to Jerusalem, that org's chief negotiator tells me. pic.twitter.com/9mTRWxIbkr
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) January 26, 2017
The prospect of an embassy location change has been met with applause by right-wing Israeli officials and strongly condemned by Palestinians and the international community.
The move would in effect amount to American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, effectively torpedoing efforts to implement a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.
The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)