December 7, 2017 / 8:37 AM / in 9 days

Netanyahu sees 'many' nations following U.S. move on Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday many countries would follow the United States in recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and contacts were underway.

Wednesday’s announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump reversed decades of peace-making policy on Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim, and drew censure from many countries, among them key allies of Washington.

“I would like to announce that we are already in contact with other countries which will issue a similar recognition,” Netanyahu said in a speech at Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

He did not name any of these countries.

The United States plans to open an embassy in Jerusalem, a move it says could take three to four years. The U.S. Embassy is currently in Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic hub, as are those of other countries.

“I have no doubt that the moment the American Embassy moves to Jerusalem, and even before then, there will be a movement of many embassies to Jerusalem. The time has come,” Netanyahu said.

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called on Thursday for a new uprising against Israel after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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