In response to continued criticism for approving the construction of new homes beyond the Green Line, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear that Israel will not stop building in the capital.
Speaking on Tuesday at the cornerstone laying ceremony for Ashdod’s new southern port, the prime minister said, “We will continue to build in Jerusalem, our eternal capital.”
“We have built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in Jerusalem,” he stated.
On Monday, Netanyahu approved plans to build 1,000 new homes in East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Late Monday, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority asked to convene an emergency session of the UN Security Council to halt Israeli construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
As in the past, international condemnation rained down upon the government’s decision, saying that it would push off reaching any Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty.
In response, Netanyahu stated: “I have heard a claim that our construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem makes peace more distant. It is the criticism which is making peace more distant.”
“These words are detached from reality. They foster false statements among the Palestinians,” he added.
As Palestinian violence escalates at dramatic rates in Jerusalem, Netanyahu slammed Palestinian leadership for encouraging Palestinians to injure and murder Jews.
“When Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] incites to murder Jews in Jerusalem, the international community is silent and when we build in Jerusalem they are up in arms. I do not accept this double standard,” Netanyahu said.
“Just the French build in Paris and the English build in London, Israelis build in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu reiterated. “We will continue to build in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in here in Ashdod.”