“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, we will continue to build and no freeze order ever applies to the city.” These are the words of Ofir Gendelman, Arabic Affairs spokesperson of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu; stated in an interview with the Ma’an News Agency. Gendelman said that Jerusalem is not a settlement, adding that Gilo settlement in only one of many “Jewish neighborhoods” of the city.
He told Ma’an Radio that Israel will be constructing 130 new units in Gilo, and described the issue simply as “construction in a Jewish neighborhood inside Israel”.
The Israeli official added that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and will always be part of the Jewish State under any peace agreement with the Palestinians.
He also demanded that Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiations table and described the Palestinian stance that Israeli must halt all of its settlement activities as an attempt “to dictate preconditions on Israel”.
“If they want a solution to settlements, to Jerusalem, they must resume peace talks with us”, the Israeli official said.
Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank are in violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Palestinians are demanding that Israel halt its settlement activities in the occupied territories, including occupied East Jerusalem, as the Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Israel also refuses to hold talks on main issues such as borders, refugees and natural resources.