JERUSALEM — The day after the U.S. officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with VICE founder Shane Smith to talk about the violence on the border with Gaza and the new threats he thinks Israel is facing from Iranian forces in Syria.
In the interview, Netanyahu praised President Trump’s December move to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“I think President Trump did an important thing,” Netanyahu said. “He not only kept his promise, and the promises of successive American presidents, he also recognized a simple reality — the seed of Israel’s government is in Jerusalem, which is its capital.”
Netanyahu is facing criticism from world leaders and human rights groups after Israeli troops fired bullets and tear gas canisters at protesters, leaving more than 60 dead and thousands more wounded, including children. Netanyahu called the protests a "deliberate infiltration attempt — paid and organized by Hamas." And the IDF maintains that its soldiers followed protocol.
Netanyahu showed off the exploded parts of what he calls an Iranian drone, which was destroyed Israeli forces. The drone attack, he said, precipitated a volley of Iranian missiles launched at Israel from Syria’s Golan Heights.
“You see that wing? I think this is the first time we’re showing this,” he said. “We know for sure because this is an Iranian drone. You could see pictures of this drone, by the way, in Iran.”
Watch a preview clip below, and tune in to the interview tonight at 7:30 pm EST on HBO.