Netanyahu: More will see Jerusalem as Israeli capital


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Wednesday that many countries would accept Jerusalem as the nation’s capital, following the lead of the US.

“In the end, the truth will win, and many countries will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and will also move their embassies there, said Netanyahu, addressing members of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad at the presidential residence in West Jerusalem.

His remarks came after the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a declaration Wednesday recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The “Istanbul Declaration”, dubbed “Freedom for Jerusalem”, was issued after an extraordinary summit held in Istanbul.

The declaration called on “the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the occupied capital of Palestine”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the OIC’s Istanbul gathering that his country would not accept a future role for the US in the Middle East peace process.

Netanyahu rejected the OIC call, saying he was “not impressed” by the statements on Jerusalem. He claimed that Israel maintained respect in Jerusalem for the freedom of worship for all religions.

The Palestinians would do better by recognizing reality and acting in favor of peace and not extremism, he said.

The extraordinary summit and final declaration came in response to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week.

OIC Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmad al-Othaimeen reiterated his call on countries which do not recognize Palestine as a sovereign state to do so.

Denouncing the US move over Jerusalem, Othaimeen said it destroys the US role as mediator to the peace process. He warned that the move will ignite violence in the region.

Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — currently occupied by Israel — will eventually become the capital of a Palestinian state.

Source: Middle East Monitor


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