“It was clear to us that the US President's declaration [on Jerusalem al-Quds] will have a price, and I repeat, we are ready to pay the whole price. This determination [on city] is important,” Lieberman said during a tour of the Re’im military base on Tuesday morning.
On December 6, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in occupied lands from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, a highly contentious move that triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.
On Monday, 14 members of the 15-member UN Security Council voted in favor of an Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically name the US or Trump but expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem” al-Quds, while US Ambassador Nikki Haley wielded Washington’s veto against the call, prompting the Palestinian government’s strong condemnation.
Israel claims that since the announcement of Trump’s decision, some 30 rockets or projectiles have been fired at the occupied territories in the Negev Desert from the Gaza Strip.
“We will not tolerate any leakage” of rockets fired from Gaza at Israel, Lieberman further said, adding “We know what to do, how to do it and especially when to do it.” However, he said that the purported flow of rockets had stopped for the meantime.
The Israeli military reported that half of the purported rockets or projectiles landed inside the enclave itself, but in two incidents, on Sunday and last week, they touched down inside Israeli communities: one in south of Ashkelon and the other in Sderot. There were no injuries, but the rockets reportedly inflicted property damage.
“We have said Jerusalem [al-Quds] the capital of Israel is not negotiable and not for bargaining. [Trump]’s decision is definitely a historic decision and we must now anchor it firmly, both inside [Israel] and outside,” Lieberman said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bassam al-Agha, said President Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia Tuesday to discuss the US decision on Jerusalem al-Quds with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The trip comes as Riyadh has showed a weak response to Trump’s move.
Jerusalem al-Quds remains at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians hoping that the eastern part of the city would eventually serve as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.