Leading Palestinians Reject Latest Plans for Jerusalem
The leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Nayef Hawatmeh, and the Palestinian official in charge of the Jerusalem issue, Faisal Husseini, met Saturday and rejected any plan that would mean Israeli sovereignty over the whole city.
"Hawatmeh and Husseini rejected all the US ideas and suggestions about Jerusalem, particularly those that suggest full Israeli sovereignty over the old city and the granting of a wider autonomy to the Palestinians," said Ali Badwan, a spokesman for the DFLP.
"They considered the Israeli position to be too far from the international resolutions and stressed the will of the Palestinian people to build an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital," Badwan added in a communiqué.
Husseini went to Syria on Wednesday to take part in a ceremony in honor of the late Syrian president, Hafez Assad.
Badwan also called on Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to reject "a framework agreement proposed two days ago by Washington" to the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators at Camp David.
He said the plan "offers all of the holy city to the Jewish state in exchange for wider autonomy for the Palestinians in the old city with a corridor road linking the Palestinian territories to the Al-Aqsa mosque."
Meanwhile, the Israeli Arab member of parliament Azmi Beshara, who is also in Syria, called on the Palestinian delegation at Camp David to "stand up firmly to American pressure," in comments to journalists after a meeting with the former president of the Palestine National Council, Khaled Fahum.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called Friday on the Palestinian negotiators at Camp David not to give way on the issues of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.
In a statement to AFP, the PFLP spokesman, Maher al-Taher, highlighted the "need to remain firm on the Israeli withdrawal from east Jerusalem and the right of return of Palestinian refugees."
Saturday's edition of the Syrian government daily Tishrin also came out strongly against any compromise over Jerusalem, referring to UN Security Council Resolution 242 saying east Jerusalem was "indivisible" and under Arab sovereignty.
"To share east Jerusalem and separate it from its outskirts is offensive, as the Arab city of east Jerusalem is one and indivisible and Arab sovereignty should be total over this city and the other Arab territories occupied in 1967, in line with Resolutions 242 and 338 of the Security Council," Tishrin aid.
"It is obvious that the Palestinian delegation at the Camp David negotiations is under huge pressure, as the Israeli officials have never hidden their ambitions over annexing east Jerusalem and driving out its inhabitants," the paper continued - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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