Ex-minister Sa'ar Calls on Clinton, Trump to Support East Jerusalem Construction

Sa'ar warns that Israel is losing the battle over the capital by freezing building in East Jerusalem.

A man is seen from a window as Israeli flags fly on top of a house in Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem, Aug. 27, 2015.

Gideon Sa’ar, a former Likud minister and a potential contender for prime minister, called on the U.S. presidential candidates to publicly declare their support for Israel’s sovereignty in East Jerusalem.

Speaking at The Jerusalem Post annual conference in New York on Sunday, Sa'ar warned that Israel is losing the battle over Jerusalem by freezing building in East Jerusalem, and allowing the Palestinians to gain a majority in the holy city by illegally connecting Jerusalem to Ramallah . “Our only solution is to build, and to build in Jerusalem now,” he said. “In order to ensure the future of the city for generations, we must build today.”

“I call on the presidential candidates, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to publicly support our right to build in the undivided, united capital of Israel – Jerusalem,” Saar said to loud cheers. “I call on the presidential candidates to declare that the next administration will not put any pressure on Israel with regard to its implementation of our right to build in our capital.”

Nir Kedar

Sa’ar, 47, a former cabinet minister and popular Likud MK, is widely viewed as a favorite to challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the leadership of the ruling Likud Party. In 2014, he quit the government and the Knesset over differences with Netanyahu.

Trump has already announced his support for relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. During a speech at AIPAC’s annual policy conference in March, Trump promised to “move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”