Israeli Minister: Israel never Controlled Arab Neighborhoods in Jerusalem
Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin said Sunday that the Israeli public should realize that Israel never controlled the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and that it is time to get rid of them, reported The Jerusalem Post.
"Israel's annexation of 28 Arab villages in 1967 was very artificial, and the dream to make them an integrated part of Jerusalem was never fulfilled," the minister said, on a tour of the Arab neighborhoods in northeastern Jerusalem which would be handed over to full or partial Palestinian control as part of a peace agreement, said the paper.
Encouraging Prime Minister Ehud Barak to make concessions on Jerusalem, Beilin said, "these Arab neighborhoods which were never part of Jerusalem do not need to pose any problem whatsoever in the negotiations."
Beilin said he did rule out the possibility that these Arab neighborhoods would become part of a Palestinian state, added the paper.
"Handing over Arab neighborhoods is not dividing Jerusalem," Beilin argued, outlining what is likely to be the main thrust of Barak's argument if and when he reaches an agreement.
"When we talk about the unity of Jerusalem, what is important is Jewish Jerusalem," he said - Albawaba.com
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