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Israel: Jerusalem residents react to US policy shift on Israeli settlements03:01

Israel: Jerusalem residents react to US policy shift on Israeli settlements

Israel, Jerusalem
November 19, 2019 at 19:23 GMT +00:00 · Published

Residents of Jerusalem reacted on Tuesday to the US government announcement that it would no longer consider West Bank settlements illegal.

Locals sharing their opinions were divided between those who were excited about the shift and its potential impact on tourism in Israel and those who saw it as a violation of Palestinian rights.

"I think it is a great shift. I think it was supposed to [happen] before but it is very exciting to hear about it," said Yechiya Pomerance, a resident of Jerusalem. "Everyone is welcome to Israel now - everywhere in Israel. Not only Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Every part of Israel is open to the world."

Others, including Hazem el-Helou, another Jerusalem resident, drew connections between the US policy shift and the ongoing power struggle in the Israeli government.

"The decision is possibly connected to what is currently happening in the occupation [Israeli] government, namely the struggle to form a government," he said. "This decision is aimed at serving Netanyahu, as it [the announcement] could be marketed as another achievement [by Netanyahu] to the Israeli community."

Nedal al-Burai, another Palestinian resident of Jerusalem, said, "The reality is very saddening. The West Bank is on its way to being lost forever and will be annexed by Israel."

Some saw the change in religious terms, believing Jesus Christ will return when Jews have control of Jerusalem.

"The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel in all its entirety and it is a very nice thing. It shows that the Messiah will come very soon," said Pinhas Goldberg.

Israel: Jerusalem residents react to US policy shift on Israeli settlements03:01
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Description

Residents of Jerusalem reacted on Tuesday to the US government announcement that it would no longer consider West Bank settlements illegal.

Locals sharing their opinions were divided between those who were excited about the shift and its potential impact on tourism in Israel and those who saw it as a violation of Palestinian rights.

"I think it is a great shift. I think it was supposed to [happen] before but it is very exciting to hear about it," said Yechiya Pomerance, a resident of Jerusalem. "Everyone is welcome to Israel now - everywhere in Israel. Not only Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Every part of Israel is open to the world."

Others, including Hazem el-Helou, another Jerusalem resident, drew connections between the US policy shift and the ongoing power struggle in the Israeli government.

"The decision is possibly connected to what is currently happening in the occupation [Israeli] government, namely the struggle to form a government," he said. "This decision is aimed at serving Netanyahu, as it [the announcement] could be marketed as another achievement [by Netanyahu] to the Israeli community."

Nedal al-Burai, another Palestinian resident of Jerusalem, said, "The reality is very saddening. The West Bank is on its way to being lost forever and will be annexed by Israel."

Some saw the change in religious terms, believing Jesus Christ will return when Jews have control of Jerusalem.

"The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel in all its entirety and it is a very nice thing. It shows that the Messiah will come very soon," said Pinhas Goldberg.

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