Defense minister unmoved by threats of violence over Jerusalem recognition
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Defense minister unmoved by threats of violence over Jerusalem recognition

Liberman says Israel will ‘know how to deal with the ramifications’ of US embassy relocation; Lapid says move should have been made ’70 years ago’

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman leads a Yisrael Beytenu party faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem on October 30, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman leads a Yisrael Beytenu party faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem on October 30, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Monday urged US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv.

Speaking at the weekly Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting, the defense minister brushed off the threats of violence by Palestinians and the wider Arab world, saying Israel will “know how to deal with all the ramifications” of any US recognition.

Trump faces a key decision this week on whether to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, prompting a flood of warnings from the Arab world that it could ignite tensions and sink hopes for peace.

Liberman said he “completely supports” Jerusalem recognition, hailing it as the “right step” and a measure that would be “very, very important to all Jewish people.”

The Palestinians, Jordan, and the Arab League have all objected to the move, with the Hamas terrorist group threatening a renewed “intifada” should it go ahead.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and US President Donald Trump shake hands at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2017. (AP/Sebastian Scheiner)

“We’ll know how to deal with all the ramifications” and those who raise tensions, Liberman added.

Also joining the chorus of support on Monday was Lapid, who told his opposition Yesh Atid faction meeting the US should have recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “70 years ago,” or at the very least “the day after ’67,” referring to the 1967 Six Day War when Israel reclaimed the whole city.

Trump was expected to make an announcement by Wednesday. His son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner on Sunday said the US president remained undecided on the issue.

AFP contributed to this report.

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