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Netanyahu: 'Several countries' considering following US lead and moving embassies to Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "several countries" are considering moving their embassies to Jerusale...

Posted: Dec 22, 2017 9:48 PM
Updated: Dec 22, 2017 9:48 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "several countries" are considering moving their embassies to Jerusalem in the wake of US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize the city as the capital of Israel.

Speaking exclusively to CNN a day after the United Nations Assembly voted against Trump's move, Netanyahu said the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem could lead the way for others to follow.

"We're now talking to several countries who are seriously considering saying exactly the same thing as the United States and moving their embassies to Jerusalem," Netanyahu told CNN.

'Historical truth'

On Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Netanyahu added: "I think what it does is finally recognize a historical truth.

"Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years from the time of King David. It has been the capital of Israel for 70 years, and it's about time that the US said, and I'm glad they said, 'This is the capital and we recognize it' and I think that's going to be followed by other countries."

Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel breaking with the international consensus that the final status of the holy city should be decided as part of the peace process. Multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions have called for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

If other nations follow Trump's lead "exactly," as Netanyahu suggested, it would be a diplomatic victory for the Israelis and a blow to the Palestinians.

Netanyahu would not specify which countries were in contact with Israel about moving their embassies "because I want it to succeed," indicating that the announcement isn't set in stone.

Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel was widely criticized by the international community.

In response, leaders from the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation recognized East Jerusalem as the occupied capital of a Palestinian state.

Palestinian leaders also condemned the US's stance, declaring they would not welcome US Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, said that "the United States has disqualified itself from being a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We will not accept any plan from her because of her bias and her violation of international law," Abbas added. In response, Macron said France believes there is no alternative to a two-state solution.

'Negotiations'

Pressed on whether he would be ready to negotiate the future of Jerusalem with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said he was "willing to put my position forward."

"Our position is Jerusalem remaining a united, safe and secure city, freedom of worship for all faiths which we guarantee and, by the way, in the Middle East, we're just about the only ones that guarantee this freedom of worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

"That's my vision of Jerusalem. Palestinians may have a different vision. They should come and negotiate. They say they won't negotiate; they're walking away from the negotiation table... again."

"You want peace, go to negotiate peace."

'Two-state solution'

Pressed on whether he would openly commit to a two-state solution, which remains the international consensus for the region, Netanyahu demurred, committing "to a situation where the Palestinians can govern themselves." Netanyahu insisted Israel must remain in charge of security in the entire West Bank.

"The most important condition that we need for an effective, sustainable peace for both Palestinians and Israelis and for the region is for a situation where Israel has overriding security control of this tiny area," Netanyahu said, referring to the entirety of Israel and the West Bank.

Palestinian leaders have flatly rejected such a proposal, saying it does not give them full sovereignty over their land.

Abbas' rejection of the US as a mediator in any peace process has cut Netanyahu political slack. He can openly commit to a process without concern about making concessions, since only the US is actively working on restarting a peace process right now. Netanyahu's right-wing coalition consists of hardliners on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict who oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 708779

Reported Deaths: 13226
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion966191721
Lake51761946
Allen39224672
Hamilton34549405
St. Joseph34157541
Elkhart27356432
Vanderburgh22081394
Tippecanoe21853212
Porter17935299
Johnson17544374
Hendricks16822310
Clark12697190
Madison12353337
Vigo12219244
Monroe11469166
LaPorte11162204
Delaware10366184
Howard9664211
Kosciusko9134114
Hancock7990139
Bartholomew7893155
Warrick7691155
Floyd7563176
Wayne6906198
Grant6844171
Boone6556100
Morgan6405138
Dubois6085117
Marshall5786108
Dearborn570376
Cass5685102
Henry5579101
Noble542683
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Shelby479495
Lawrence4342118
Gibson429089
Harrison428570
Clinton419753
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Ohio55811
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1054807

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1225191356
Cuyahoga1074592069
Hamilton783261168
Montgomery50176996
Summit45557909
Lucas40298765
Butler37768570
Stark31513895
Lorain24246473
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Clermont19459229
Delaware18085130
Licking16149207
Fairfield15757197
Trumbull15627460
Medina14922259
Greene14706236
Clark13660293
Wood12806185
Portage12431196
Allen11352229
Richland11067198
Miami10548214
Muskingum8717127
Wayne8594209
Columbiana8569226
Pickaway8439121
Marion8390135
Tuscarawas8387240
Erie7600154
Hancock6730123
Ross6707146
Geauga6553146
Ashtabula6530165
Scioto6295101
Belmont5634158
Union558447
Lawrence5470102
Jefferson5343147
Huron5314114
Darke5273121
Sandusky5189120
Seneca5139120
Washington5087107
Athens503856
Auglaize476284
Mercer471984
Shelby456590
Knox4397108
Madison423959
Putnam421799
Ashland413488
Fulton410567
Defiance404296
Crawford3883101
Brown386955
Logan374476
Preble371098
Clinton362160
Ottawa357978
Highland347459
Williams328674
Champaign321557
Jackson308551
Guernsey307549
Perry290549
Fayette278048
Morrow275939
Hardin264764
Henry264366
Coshocton259857
Holmes253499
Van Wert239262
Pike233831
Gallia233446
Adams229152
Wyandot227553
Hocking209759
Carroll189447
Paulding168838
Meigs141738
Noble132937
Monroe128941
Morgan106823
Harrison105636
Vinton81614
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