TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said President Donald Trump is “worthy of all praise” for his decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in May and it was “only a matter of time” before other countries follow suit.
At the weekly Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said he would “personally thank” Trump on behalf of Israel during their meeting at the White House next week.
“We are in touch with other countries, and it’s only a matter of time before other countries join the U.S. in moving their embassies to Jerusalem,” he added.
The prime minister said that the topic of Iran’s nuclearization aspirations would also be discussed at his meeting with Trump.
On Sunday, Netanyahu hailed the U.S.’s announcement that it would be moving its embassy to Jerusalem in time for the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence as a “great moment for the citizens of Israel.” The prime minister is also reportedly expected to invite President Donald Trump to inaugurate the embassy.
“The decision by President Trump to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem on the coming Independence Day will make the celebrations even more joyful,” said Netanyahu.
“Thank you President Trump, thank you for your leadership and your strong friendship,” Netanyahu added.
Meanwhile, the move has sparked anger among the Palestinians, who on Monday called for a “day of rage.”
Representatives of the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces convened an emergency meeting in Ramallah where they called on Palestinians to clash “at all points of friction” with soldiers and Israelis living in the West Bank this Friday.
They also called on the Muslim and Arab worlds to do everything in their power to prevent the move from going through in addition to pressuring the Palestinian Authority to abide by its threat to sever security cooperation with Israel.
“The factions affirm their condemnation and rejection of the meeting that took place between the so-called occupation coordinator and his finance minister with the Palestinian prime minister,” said a statement, referring to a meeting between PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major-General Yoav Mordechai.
The meeting, they said, “was in violation of the PLO decisions to boycott the occupation and get rid of the Oslo Accords, including security and economic agreements and political meetings.”
The Palestinian National Council this week also reacted with anger to the embassy news, saying it was a “blatant defiance towards the international, Arab and Islamic will” and “an intensification of the aggression.”
“The council emphasized that the American administration’s insistence on carrying out the aggressive decision proves again that it has chosen isolation and to distance itself from peace in favor of the occupation, and has made it responsible for the consequences of this,” a news report on PA TV said.
The Council, which is the PLO’s legislative body, also urged the Arab world to use all its resources to prevent the embassy relocation.
“The Council demanded that the Arab and Islamic nation defend Jerusalem and its holy sites, and harness their full abilities and connections in order to prevent the execution of this decision,” the report, translated by Palestinian Media Watch, said.