Arafat Tells Thousands of Supporters Jerusalem is Palestinian Capital
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat stressed his commitment to making Jerusalem the capital of an independent state at a festive gathering of at 2,000 supporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah Thursday.
"We want all of Arab Jerusalem, not Al-Aqsa (mosque), not the Armenian quarter, not the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, but all of Jerusalem," he told cheering crowds in the West Bank town of Ramallah, which was decked out in Palestinian flags.
Arafat was referring to sections of Jerusalem's Old City, which Israel occupied along with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war.
"Very soon there will be a Palestinian child that will raise a flag over Jerusalem," Arafat added on the second day of organized celebrations hailing him for not compromising with Israel at the Camp David peace summit.
The 15-day summit collapsed on Tuesday after the two sides failed to resolve their dispute over the right of sovereignty over Jerusalem, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as their capital.
"I was strong in Camp David because of your voice," he said.
"The Palestinian state will soon be, with Jerusalem as its capital," Arafat said, to shouts of "We are with you until liberation!"
"The refugees are as important as Jerusalem, especially the refugees in Lebanon because they are suffering," Arafat added.
Arafat's repeated declaration of his intentions to declare statehood even without a peace with Israel are opposed by both Israel and the United States -- RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP)
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