, Jerusalem, ZZZ, Dec 6 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday refrained from commenting on US President Donald Trump’s intention to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in his first speech since the plan was confirmed.
Netanyahu, speaking at a diplomatic conference organised by The Jerusalem Post newspaper, instead focused on Israel’s security and economic ties with countries globally during his 20-minute speech.
Trump’s plan, to be announced later Wednesday, has set off alarm bells around the world.
Other Israeli ministers commented on the plan, hailing it as a historic move.
“I call upon other countries to follow the United States and recognise Jerusalem as the Jewish and undivided capital,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the far-right Jewish Home party, said at the conference.
“The United States is adding another brick to the walls of Jerusalem, to the foundation of the Jewish nation.”
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, also of Jewish Home, said: “I think it is a victory of the American people and the American spirit.”
Intelligence and Transport Minister Yisrael Katz, of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, said Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem means “this is an historic day”.
“Whoever does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not recognise the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state,” he said.
“We expect the international community to support President Trump’s decision.”
The Palestinians fiercely oppose the move and have called for three “days of rage” to protest against it.