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December 17, 2020 9:58 am

Gantz to Saudi Newspaper: ‘Jerusalem to Stay United, but There Will Be Place for Palestinian Capital’

avatar by i24 News

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting of the new government, at the Chagall Hall in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, May 24, 2020. Photo: Abir Sultan / Pool via Reuters / File.

i24 News – Jerusalem is a “spacious city that is full of sites which are sacred for all” and as such, could have enough room for a Palestinian capital, Israel’s Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz hinted.

In an interview published Thursday, Gantz told the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that Palestinians do have a right to independence and their own capital.

Nevertheless, the defense minister also stressed that the city must remain undivided.

“I want Palestinians to be part of the peace process. The push for normalization within the Arab world is a great and real opportunity,” he said.

The alternate PM also revealed that he had already been to a majority of Arab states on clandestine visits as part of his military service and said he would love to go on an official tour.

He warned against what he called the “Iranian axis” in the region, saying it posed a threat for both Israel and Arab states and pointing at countries like Syria and Lebanon as examples of its corruptive influence.

While Israel views Jerusalem as its one and undivided capital, the Palestinians claim its eastern part as their own capital under the two-state solution.

A peace plan by US President Donald Trump unveiled earlier this year placed the Palestinian capital in Abu Dis, a town near Jerusalem.

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