Israel doubles down against US, saying there is no room in Jerusalem for an American Consulate for Palestinians

This article is over 2 years old Israeli prime minister says Jerusalem will be Israel’s capital, regardless of ‘Palestinian control’ in the capital city Israel doubles down against US, saying there is no room…

Israel doubles down against US, saying there is no room in Jerusalem for an American Consulate for Palestinians

This article is over 2 years old

Israeli prime minister says Jerusalem will be Israel’s capital, regardless of ‘Palestinian control’ in the capital city

Israel doubles down against US, saying there is no room in Jerusalem for an American Consulate for Palestinians

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Jerusalem will be Israel’s capital, regardless of “Palestinian control” in the capital city.

Speaking at the opening of parliament in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said: “I want to underline once again the absolute moral right of Israel to be here. The country was founded here, hundreds of years ago.”

Netanyahu hails America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Read more

Referring to US president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Netanyahu said there was “no room for an American Consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem”.

Trump has repeatedly said the status of Jerusalem, a city at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, should be decided through negotiations.

Palestinian leaders have said recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is unhelpful, because it prejudges negotiations, and denounced his move as a betrayal of long-standing US policies.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said he was recalling his ambassador to Washington to protest against the move.

“As long as there is not an internationally recognised Palestinian state on the basis of 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, the land of Palestine and the Palestinian people will never accept any change in the status of Jerusalem,” said the Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki.

Netanyahu presented Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the key for closer ties with the US president, saying their talks had reinforced “unbreakable bonds”.

“We discussed strengthening strategic relations between Israel and the United States, including in the area of security, intelligence, trade and economic cooperation,” he said.

“Today, I want to announce that we have agreed to establish a ‘Netanyahu-Trump Centre’ to increase the use of US technology and digital solutions to fight cyber threats. This is one of the goals of this special project,” he said.

Netanyahu said that on Tuesday Trump had approved long-stalled arms sales worth $3bn (£2.4bn) to Israel.

He said the deals allowed Israel to secure “great weapons systems for the future”.

Netanyahu also said Israel has to “consider the future of American military aid”.

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