Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims “many” world countries will follow the US in recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital,” turning a deaf ear to international condemnations of Washington’s move.
“I would like to announce that we are already in contact with other countries which will issue a similar recognition,” Netanyahu said in a speech at Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday without mentioning the name of the countries.
“I have no doubt that the moment the American embassy moves to Jerusalem [al-Quds], and even before then, there will be a movement of many embassies to Jerusalem. The time has come,” he added.
Netanyahu praised US President Donald Trump for his decision, saying he “bound himself forever with the history of our capital.”
Trump on Wednesday defied global warnings and said the US formally recognizes Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel, and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the occupied city, breaking with decades of American policy.
The announcement has triggered a chorus of condemnations from around the world.
The UN Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting on the new US decision on Friday.
Apart from fierce condemnations from governments and non-governmental organizations in Palestine and the Muslim world, the Western allies of the US have also denounced Trump’s decision.
Palestinian resistance group Hamas has called for a third intifada against Israel, calling Friday “day of rage” across the Palestinian occupied territories.
Trump’s decision will also cast doubt over the prospect of normalization of Israel’s ties with the Arab world, as some Arab countries, which have long been in clandestine contacts with Tel Aviv, may now reconsider their policies.
The entire Jerusalem al-Quds is currently under Israel’s control, while the regime also claims the city’s eastern part, which hosts the third holiest Muslim site.
The city has been designated as “occupied” under international law since the 1967 Arab War, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
Trump had vowed during his presidential campaign that he would relocate the US embassy in order to court pro-Israel voters.
Palestinians have repeatedly warned Trump against such an action, saying it would deliver a death blow to any prospects of the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and fuel extremism in the region.