VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson has told his TV audience that God will punish the United States if the U.S. forces Israel to share control of Jerusalem with the Palestinians.
His warning Monday on CBN's "The 700 Club" came as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators prepared to meet in Washington for their first direct talks in years.
The U.S. has never recognized Israel's designation of Jerusalem as its capital, insisting the city's status should be negotiated. The U.S. also has not recognized Israel's annexation of eastern Jerusalem, which contains sites holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians.
But Robertson declared - on what he called "the authority of the Scripture" - that if the U.S. "forces Israel to divide Jerusalem, God Himself will come down against this nation, and what will happen will be very painful to every one of us as American citizens."
Christian and Jewish Zionists believe the return of Jews to establish modern Israel was a fulfillment of biblical prophecies.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)