“We’re profoundly grateful to the President for his courageous and just decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the US embassy here,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video message moments after US President Donald Trump’s speech on Wednesday.
Watch: Netanyahu welcomes Trump’s speech
Israeli politicians from various political parties welcomed on Wednesday evening US President Donald Trump’s speech regarding Jerusalem’s status. “This is a historic day,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video message. Netanyahu also sent a message to the Palestinians, saying that Israel will maintain the status quo at the Jerusalem holy sites.
“Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years,” Netanyahu stated. “It’s been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years. It was here that our temples stood, our kings ruled, our prophets preached. Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia.”
Jerusalem celebrates Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
“From every corner of the earth, our people yearned to return to Jerusalem, to touch its golden stones, to walk its hallowed streets,” he continued. “So it’s rare to be able to speak of new and genuine milestones in the glorious history of this city. Yet today’s pronouncement by President Trump is such an occasion.”
Trump during the speech Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
“I call on all countries that seek peace to join the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move their embassy embassies here,” Netanyahu stated. “I share President Trump’s commitment to advancing peace between Israel and all of our neighbors, including the Palestinians…and we will continue to work with the President and his team to make that dream of peace come true.”
However, the Palestinian Authority harshly condemned Trump’s speech and stated that the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “has ruined” the prospects of a two-state solution. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned Trump’s announcement, saying that it was a “shameful move.” Hamas issued a threat to Israel and the US shortly after Trump’s announcement: “The gates of hell for US interests will be opened.”