Thursday December 7, 2017
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2015. — Reuters picIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2015. — Reuters picTEL AVIV, Dec 7 — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this morning as “historic” and a “courageous and just decision”.

Netanyahu also pledged no change to the status quo at Jerusalem’s highly sensitive holy sites in the city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

“This is a historic day,” Netanyahu said in a video message released immediately after Trump’s speech.

“Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. It’s been the capital of Israel for nearly 70 years... Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia.”

“We’re profoundly grateful for the president for his courageous and just decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the US embassy here.”

Netanyahu also called on “all countries that seek peace to join the United States in recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move their embassies here”. — AFP

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