Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lambasted on Thursday the United Nations as a "house of lies", ahead of a General Assembly vote on a resolution rejecting the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"The State of Israel rejects outright this vote, even before it passes," he said at a ceremony in southern Israel.
"The attitude to Israel of many nations in the world, in all the continents, is changing outside of the UN walls, and will eventually filter into the UN as well -- the house of lies," he said.
The 193-member UN General Assembly will hold a rare emergency special session on Thursday at the request of Arab and Muslim countries to vote on the draft resolution, which the United States vetoed at the Security Council on Monday after all other 14 council members voted in favor.
With his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy on Dec. 6, yielding outrage from Palestinians, Arab and Muslim countries and drawing widespread condemnation from Western allies.
On the eve of the vote, Trump suggested there could be reprisals for countries that support the draft, put forward by Yemen and Turkey on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries. The US President said his ambassador to the world body, Nikki Haley said the United States “will be taking names”.
"Jerusalem is our capital, we will continue to build in it and embassies of countries, led by the US, will move to Jerusalem," Netanyahu said, thanking Trump and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for "standing by Israel and the truth."
"Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, whether the UN recognizes it or not," Netanyahu said. "It took 70 years until the US officially recognized it and it will take many more years until the UN recognizes it too."
Palestinians have protested daily in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip since Trump’s announcement, throwing stones at security forces and burning tires. Gaza fighters have also launched sporadic rocket fire.
Eight Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire during the demonstrations and dozens wounded, Palestinian health officials said. Two militants were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza after a rocket attack.