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January 26, 2018 10:57 am

Netanyahu Vows Israel Will Retain Jerusalem Holy Sites in Any Peace Deal

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

JNS.org – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would retain Jerusalem’s holy sites in any peace deal during a public interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday.

“We’re keeping the holy sites and the status quo, and I want to stress that under any arrangement that we have, we will always keep the status quo at the Temple Mount and all of the holy sites,” Netanyahu told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “Our position is that Jerusalem should remain united under Israel’s sovereignty with complete religious rights for those of all faiths.”

In the interview, Netanyahu also dismissed the assertion that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would embolden Israel to annex the West Bank.

“I think it’s a complete distortion,” he said. “I think [the Palestinians] want to govern themselves, which I don’t have any problem with.”

Netanyahu, referencing his 2009 speech in which he called for the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state, said that in any peace deal Israel “will retain the overriding security control, but other than that, the Palestinians will be able to govern themselves.”

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