BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – On Thursday, ministers and members of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) attacked Defense Minister Benny Gantz, after his statements about sharing the city of Jerusalem as a capital for a Palestinian state.
The newspaper Israel Hayom reported on Thursday that Gantz was subjected to a fierce attack by some ministers and members of the Knesset, against the background of his remarks that Jerusalem should remain united, but there will be a place for a Palestinian capital.
On Thursday, Asharq Al-Awsat conducted a lengthy interview with Gantz, in which he stressed that the city of Jerusalem must remain united, but that there will be a place for a Palestinian capital, and the Palestinians have the right to “feel independence and have a capital.”
Commenting on Gantz’s statements, the Israeli Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, said in a new tweet to him on his official Twitter account:
“Unified Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people. It is not the capital of any other party. This is where our ancestors walked, and hence our safety.”
The Minister of Higher Education, Ze’ev Elkin, who is from the ruling right-wing Likud party, tweeted: “No, Benny, you are confused. There is no place for a Palestinian capital in united Jerusalem, there is no and will not be like this, simply will not be.”
Benny Gantz called on the Palestinian leadership and President Mahmoud Abbas to join the peace process and “not stay in the back rows,” noting that “the Palestinians want and deserve an entity in which to live independently,” stressing that peace in the region will remain incomplete without the Palestinians.