More than 250,000 Israeli Rally in Jerusalem to Protest Possible Transfer of the City to the Palestinians
More than 250,000 Israeli right-wingers attended a mass rally Monday night in Jerusalem to protest the possible transfer of part of the disputed city to the Palestinian Authority, reported the Israeli Haaretz newspaper.
The centerpiece of the rally was the lighting of torches by individuals representing various population sectors, each of whom pledged allegiance to Jerusalem as he lit his torch, said the paper.
US President Bill Clinton suggested that east Jerusalem be under the Palestinian rule, while the western part remains under Israeli sovereignty.
The plan triggered the anger of many Israelis who voiced their rejection of the US plan, insisting that a united Jerusalem should remain the capital of the Jewish state.
The rally, according to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, was organized last week by the Orthodox Union's director of international and communal affairs, Betty Ehrenberg.
"This is not a political rally," she said at the event's opening. "This is in support of an undivided [Jerusalem]," she said.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in the meantime, insisted that Jerusalem will remain unified, and under the Israeli rule.
He called for a "Jerusalem, larger and bigger than ever in the Jewish history, united under our sovereignty," said the Washington Times newspaper in its internet edition.
Barak's statement came during a televised press conference with American reporters, beamed from his office in Jerusalem.
"Israel will never abandon control over the Wailing Wall, the City of David, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, the Mount of Olives and other sites holy to Jews."
According to the Washington Times, the resigned prime minister stressed that he "will not sign a document giving sovereignty over the Temple Mount" to the Palestinians -- (Several Sources)
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