Netanyahu at ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification
Netanyahu at ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunificationAlex Kolomoisky/POOL

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stressed on Sunday that Jerusalem will always be the capital of the Jewish state.

"Tonight, I say to the whole world and in the clearest way possible, Jerusalem was and will always be the capital of Israel," Netanyahu said at the opening ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem, which was held at the foot of the Tower of David in the Old City.

"The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will always remain under Israeli sovereignty," he added.

“It is not our adherence to Jerusalem that demands an explanation, but rather the disgraceful attempt to expropriate our ties to Jerusalem and our sovereignty in Jerusalem. Where were UNESCO and its ilk, when for 19 years we were deprived of our right of free access to the holy sites of our people? Why were their voices not heard when all traces of Jewish existence in eastern Jerusalem were shattered? Well, in the face of this hypocrisy, which, unfortunately, has reached delusional heights, we will continue to insist with all our strength on the truth: Jerusalem has always been the national capital of the Jewish people alone, and not of any other people,” said Netanyahu.

“We do not need to explain our presence in Jerusalem. We owe no apology for this. We are in Jerusalem with a right, an absolute right, and this right is only reinforced by our being the only true democratic state in the Middle East.”

“In the Middle East minorities are persecuted to death. Places of worship are destroyed - synagogues, churches, mosques. Holy sites are turned into dust, and rare heritage treasures are erased from the face of the earth. On the other hand, look what happens in Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. We carefully maintain the holy sites and guarantee freedom of worship for all. And we will continue to live in Jerusalem with mutual respect and tolerance - and, ladies and gentlemen, we will continue to build Jerusalem as our capital,” vowed Netanyahu.