'PA needs to abandon fantasy it will conquer Jerusalem'

PM shows remains of shot-down Iranian drone which entered Israeli airspace, responds to criticism of defense of border amid Gaza attacks.

David Rosenberg,

Binyamin Netanyahu at Jerusalem embassy opening
Binyamin Netanyahu at Jerusalem embassy opening
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu defended President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem, saying that the move would enable the achievement of peace in the region.

Despite 23 years of refusal by successive presidents to implement the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, on December 6th, President Trump announced that the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that the State Department would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The move drew heavy criticism from around the world, with the United Nations General Assembly voting to censure the US for the decision.

The Palestinian Authority cancelled a planned meeting between PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and Vice President Mike Pence after the December announcement, and declared that it no longer viewed the US as a viable broker for peace talks.

On Monday, the US unveiled its new embassy in Jerusalem, while rioters and Hamas terrorists clashed with IDF forces on the Israel-Gaza border in an attempt to infiltrate into Israeli territory.

Sixty Gazans – including 24 Hamas terrorists and 36 rioters – were shot dead by Israeli forces on Monday, as 35,000 rioters massed on Israel’s border in the largest infiltration attempt since the so-called “March of Return” began on March 30th.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu defended Israel’s use of force to defend its border from the mass infiltration attempts, and praised President Trump’s decision to move the embassy, saying it was a necessary precondition for peace.

"President Trump did a very important thing," Netanyahu told VICE News. "He not only kept his promise and the promises of successive American presidents, he also recognized a simple reality."

"The Israeli government is right here in Jerusalem. And it has been the capital of the Jewish people 'only' for 3,000 years. That's the key, ultimately to peace. Because a peace that's based on lies will crash on the rocks of Middle East reality.”

The PA, Netanyahu claimed, had nursed a “fantasy” of “conquering” Jerusalem – a fantasy he said was necessary to give up if peace is ever to be achieved.

"It is time to tell the Palestinians: 'Abandon your fantasy of destroying Israel. Abandon the fantasy that you will conquer Jerusalem. Abandon the fantasy that Israel will disappear."

"[Trump] took off the table the fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. He didn't define exactly where the line would be in Jerusalem. But it is very clear that this part, where we are now, is Israel's capital."

Netanyahu also revealed for the first time the remains of the Iranian unmanned aircraft shot down in February after it entered Israeli airspace.

"They had explosives in this drone too," Netanyahu noted.

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