Israeli Source: If Arafat Ignores Jerusalem Proposal, Summit is Over
The Camp David summit could end Monday if Palestinian President Yasser Arafat fails to agree to discuss US bridging proposals about Jerusalem, reported The Jerusalem Post, quoting an Israeli official.
Israeli and Palestinian officials were gearing up for a potential end-game for the talks, in anticipation of US President Bill Clinton's expected return Sunday from the G-8 summit in Okinawa, Israeli officials said.
According to one official, the summit could close immediately if Clinton does not receive positive answers from Arafat on the Jerusalem proposals.
On the other hand, if Arafat tells Clinton Sunday that he is willing to discuss the proposals, negotiations are expected to continue, the official told the paper.
The Jerusalem Post said the proposals call for giving the Palestinians full control or authority over some Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, while Israel would retain sovereignty over the entire city, including some Jewish communities in the West Bank that would be annexed to the city.
The proposal, which has not yet been set down in writing, is also said to deal with a solution to the claims on the Old City, offering some sort of Palestinian control over Muslim and Christian quarters, while recognizing sole Israeli authority over the Jewish Quarter, said the paper.
Though Barak has not given the US bridging proposal an official nod, he has indicated willingness to use these proposals as "a basis for future negotiations," if Arafat is also willing to do so.
According to one source, the government has been doing its own polling to see how Israelis would accept a deal which offers an end to the conflict but also gives up Israeli authority over parts of Jerusalem. The results of those polls, said the source, show that Israelis are ready for such a compromise and this, in turn, is giving Barak the political backing to go forward.
Palestinian officials, meanwhile, continued to say that any agreement, which does not give them full sovereignty over at least part of Jerusalem will be unacceptable to them, said the paper - Albawaba.com
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