Jerusalem's Former Mayor Backs Shared Sovereignty for Holy City
The former long-serving Israeli mayor of Jerusalem said in remarks published on Wednesday he favored a division of the city between Israel and the Palestinians in order to achieve peace.
"We cannot accept that the historical opportunity for peace be missed because of Jerusalem," Teddy Kollek, who was mayor for more than a quarter century, told the Yediot Aharonot newspaper.
"If it is decided to have two capitals for Jerusalem -- I would accept that," said Kollek, who was elected mayor of west Jerusalem in 1965 before Israel captured the eastern sector two years later, and stayed in office until 1993.
The status of Jerusalem and particularly its holy sites in the eastern sector of the city are the main sticking points in efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
The two sides had committed themselves to reaching a comprehensive peace deal by Wednesday but negotiations have been in a holding pattern since the Camp David summit broke down in July over the fate of Jerusalem.
Kollek, now 79, is due to take part in a planned rally by Israeli group Peace Now later Wednesday to call for a deal on the seventh anniversary of the Oslo accords that laid the path for peace and Palestinian autonomy.
After Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem in 1967, Kollek launched a policy to settle the sector with Jews, building a dozen Jewish settlements - JERUSALEM (AFP)
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