A Palestinian demonstrator holds placard during a protest against a promise by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to re-locate U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, in the West Bank near Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, January 20, 2017. (Reuters photo)
JERUSALEM, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Sunday that it is the Israeli government's position that the United States embassy should be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
His remarks came a day after the co-chair of the Republicans Overseas organization in Israel, Marc Zell, told Ha'aretz newspaper that the foot-dragging on the relocation, first suggested by Trump's campaign, is happening at Israel's request.
"Our position has always been, and will always be, that the U.S. embassy needs to be here, in Jerusalem," Netanyahu said at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting.
He also called on other countries to move their missions to Jerusalem. "I believe that over time most of them will indeed come here, to Jerusalem," he said.
Israel claimed all of Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided capital." But the international community has never recognized East Jerusalem, a territory Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast War and later annexed.
The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
The idea of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was discussed in the past but never carried out for fear it will spark fresh tensions in the region.
Statements released by Trump's team during his election campaign repeatedly stated his determination to move the embassy.
However, after his inauguration, the White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, said several times that discussion about the issue is in its very early stages, hinting no announcements are expected soon.