Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu expects European countries to follow the U.S. and recognise Jerusalem as his country’s capital.
Mr. Netanyahu made the claim in Brussels on Monday where he is meeting Europe’s diplomatic community- the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to the city in more than 20 years.
On arrival, he again applauded U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of the U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerualem, adding Jerusalem had been the capital of the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years and Mr. Trump had put “facts squarely on the table”.
History shows some of Judaism’s holiest sites are located in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem; the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron; and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Mr. Netanyahu touched on that historical fact when he said:
It’s time that the Palestinians recognise the Jewish state and also recognise the fact that it has a capital. It’s called Jerusalem. I believe that, even though we don’t have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future.
I believe that all, or most, of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace.
Israel’s leader said the reality of seeing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “doesn’t obviate peace, it makes peace possible.”
But the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini says the bloc’s stance on the matter is unchanged, saying: “We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states with Jerusalem as the capital of both.”
She also condemned “all attacks on Jews everywhere in the world,” as Breitbart Jerusalem reported.
Before heading to Brussels, Mr. Netanyahu met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, who urged him to freeze settlement building and to re-engage with Palestinians.
“I asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to make some courageous gestures toward the Palestinians to get out of the current impasse,” Macron said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that her government disagreed with the U.S. decision, which was “unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”
Mrs. May vowed to confront Mr. Trump on the issue, arguing Jerusalem must be shared between Israelis and Palestinians.
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