Israel has decided to formally recognize Jerusalem in an effort to prevent further bloodshed and division in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday.
Netanyahu’s announcement came a day after the Palestinians, in a unilateral bid to re-assert their sovereignty over the city, declared the city their capital and said it was part of their future capital.
“Jerusalem will be the capital of the Jewish State of Israel.
It will be an indivisible capital and it will be recognized by all the Arab nations,” Netanyahu said.
The declaration comes amid increasing violence in the region and an international boycott of Israel that has seen the United States, Britain, France, Germany and other nations pull their diplomatic and financial support.
The announcement came after a three-day meeting between Netanyahu and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, that ended on Saturday night.
During the meeting, the Palestinians said they were prepared to discuss the possibility of forming a Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank.
Netayim called for a two-state solution to the conflict, which has pitted Palestinians against Israelis in the West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem areas.