Speaking in Paris after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said efforts to deny the “millennial connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem” were “absurd”. Earlier, Mr Netanyahu responded to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying he had “attacked Israel”.
“I’m not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, helps Iran go around international sanctions and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people,” he added.
In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a large rally in Constantinople he would not abandon Jerusalem to a state that “kills children”.
Mr Erdoğan has described Jerusalem as a “red line” issue for Muslims and warned Turkey could end up severing diplomatic ties with Israel over the issue.
Turkey and Israel only restored diplomatic relations last year, six years after Turkey cut ties in protest at the killing of nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists in clashes with Israeli commandos on board a ship trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.
Israel’s prime minister has said Palestinians must “get to grips with” the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital in order to move towards peace.
Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem had been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and had “never been the capital of any other people”.
He spoke amid ongoing protests in the Muslim and Arab world at a US decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital.
Violence flared near the US embassy in Lebanon and elsewhere on Sunday.