'Unification of Jerusalem Is a Foundation of Nation of Israel'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells his cabinet that the government is obligated to build in Jerusalem, as it is 'the heart of the nation.'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his government's support for a united Jerusalem on Sunday, calling the unification of Jerusalem one of the "foundations of the nation of Israel."

Speaking at a special government meeting held at the David Citadel in Jerusalem, the prime minister said Israel had won congressional support during his most recent trip to Washington, where he presented the issue of Jerusalem's unification.

"The wide support for these principles is an inalienable asset for the state of Israel," Netanyahu said. "The world knows that the nation of Israel and our friends are loyal to Jerusalem and its legacy."

"The government is obligated to building Jerusalem, as [Jerusalem] is the heart of the nation," Netanyahu said.

The prime minster spoke to the U.S. Congress last week, where he said that Israel is willing to make painful concessions for peace, but Jerusalem will not be divided.

"Jerusalem must never again be divided," Netanyahu said to round of applause by the congressmen. "Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel."

The day after the prime minister's speech in Washington, the speaker of the Knesset and several other government ministers attended a dedication ceremony for the new Jewish settlement of Ma'aleh Zeitim, in East Jerusalem's Ras al-Amud neighborhood.

At the ceremony, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin condemned those that seek to "cut up" Jerusalem, as bringing "disaster" onto the city and its residents.

The comments come shortly after a weekend in which U.S. President Barack Obama called for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians based on borders from 1967, which Netanyahu rejects as "indefensible".