Netanyahu shoots back at Cameron over Jerusalem comments

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back at his colleague British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday, saying that Europe would do well to remember that only Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem prevents Islamic State and Hamas from burning the holy sites in Jerusalem, as they have done elsewhere.

Netanyahu’s sharp comment at a Likud political gathering in Ofakim came in response to statements made Wednesday by Cameron in Parliament, slamming Israel’s policies in the capital.

“I am well known for being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what has happened with the effective encirclement of east Jerusalem, occupied east Jerusalem, it is genuinely shocking,” Cameron said during a question period.

Netanyahu, who prefaced his remarks by saying that Cameron is “without a doubt a friend of Israel,” said that the British premier has forgotten some basic facts about Jerusalem.

In addition to preventing Islamic State and Hamas from destroying the city, he said, “only Israeli sovereignty ensures Arab residents of the city have roads, clinics, places of employment and all the other means of normal life that their brothers do not enjoy throughout the Middle East.”

Only Israeli sovereignty ensures the rule of law for all, “something that does not exist in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, and in large areas of the Arab world including the Palestinian Authority and Gaza,” he said. “Only Israeli sovereignty ensures all of that and it is important that our friends in Europe will remember that simple fact.”