Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday sharply criticized the UN General Assembly's planned vote, which seeks to reject U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and called it "a house of lies."
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"The State of Israel rejects this vote outright," Netanyahu said. "Jerusalem is our capital, we will continue to build there and additional embassies will move to Jerusalem."
Speaking at the opening dedication of the Assuta hospital in Ashdod, Netanyahu said that "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, whether or not the UN recognizes this. It took 70 years for the United States to formally recognize this, and it will take years for the UN to do the same."
Netanyahu noted that various countries around the world are changing their attitude toward Israel, "and this will eventually seep into the walls of that house of lies."
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said ahead of the UN vote that "The Palestinians are choosing again to hide behind speeches and not to take any steps on negotiations. The attempt to transfer initiatives aimed at denying history are irrelevant. Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people and the state of Israel and we don't need approval from anyone."
Over the past several hours, Israel has attempted to convince a few dozen countries to at least abstain or absent themselves from the vote, even if they do not vote against it. Israel has also asked that at the very least for these countries not to speak at the session. The Israeli efforts have been coordinated with the United States.
On Wednesday evening, the Israeli Foreign Ministry sent a cable to Israeli missions around the world providing further instructions, asking them to turn to the Jewish organizations in their countries and ask them to apply pressure on their local governments on the vote.
On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favor of the resolution rejecting Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
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Speaking to reporters at the White House Wednesday, Trump also expressed support for a letter sent by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, in which she warned member states against supporting the resolution.
The UN General Assembly is set to meet on Thursday at 5 P.M. Israel time (10 A.M. EST) for an emergency discussion on the unilateral American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Turkey and Yemen requested the meeting after an Egyptian draft resolution against the recognition was presented to the Security Council and was vetoed by the United States, although the 14 other members of the council voted for it.