In a seemingly contradictory declaration, Defense Minister and Netanyahu’s main rival Benny Gantz told the London-based Arabic news outlet Asharq al-Awsat on Thursday in an interview that “Jerusalem will remain undivided, but there is room for a Palestinian capital in it,” Israeli press reported.
He also said that his hope that peace in the Middle East could begin to happen by trying to settle the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
“I want the Palestinians to be part of the peace process,” he said.
Fellow Knesset members from Netanyahu’s Likud party blasted Gantz’s statements. This includes the ex-mayor of Jerusalem and fellow MK Nir Barkat who instantly attacked the Blue and White party head, saying: “Jerusalem is the capital of one people exclusively. It is the capital of the eternal Jewish nation” and is “the capital of the State of Israel.”
Ze’ev Elkin, another Likud MK, who is also an Education minister and Water minister, also took to Twitter writing: “Benny is puzzled. There is no room in a united Jerusalem for a Palestinian capital – there is not, nor will there ever be. It’s so simple: No.”
Rafi Peretz Jerusalem and Heritage Minister joined in the attack blasting Gantz’s statement, opining that “United Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish nation.”
He added, “It is no one else’s capital. Gantz: based on knowing you, you agree too.