Palestinians Insist on all of East Jerusalem
Palestinians insisted Friday that all of east Jerusalem should come under their control and accused Israel of trying to negotiate through the media after reports Prime Minister Ehud Barak has accepted a plan for limited power-sharing in the Holy City.
"I don't think they should start indulging in public negotiations," Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi told AFP.
"There have been many Israeli leaks, obviously now they are trying to mobilize public opinion, they are sending out trial balloons, they are having very studied leaks on several issues and this is the latest," she said.
Israeli cabinet minister Michael Melchior said earlier that Barak backed a US proposal made at the Camp David peace summit to share sovereignty over certain parts of occupied east Jerusalem with the Palestinians.
"If Barak accepted it, he should come out and say so," said Ashrawi.
"Our position has always been that sharing Jerusalem involves west Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty and east Jerusalem under Palestinian sovereignty, not that they would keep west Jerusalem and come and share east Jerusalem with us. East Jerusalem is part of the 1967 territories," she added.
The sector, which includes sites holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims, was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
Ashrawi charged that the Israeli delegation at the US-mediated Camp David summit had repeatedly violated a media blackout on the negotiations, aimed at hammering out a peace deal ahead of a September deadline.
Nabil Amr, Palestinian minister of parliamentary affairs, said it was up to negotiators led by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to respond to the compromise proposals.
"The negotiators at Camp David are the ones who know what was suggested and they will respond to them," Amr said.
"The Palestinian position is that it should have full sovereignty in east Jerusalem which was occupied in 1967. That was the negotiating position," he added.
Both Ashrawi and Amr returned this week from Camp David where the peace summit was entering its 11th day.
An impasse over the fate of Jerusalem sent the summit to the brink of collapse earlier this week, with both sides laying claim to the city as their capital.
Amr said that accepting only east Jerusalem was already a compromise.
"The middle solution that we proposed was to return to the 4th June 1967 line. I consider this an historical compromise solution. Also, the US administration cannot go against international laws," said Amr, referring to UN Security Council resolutions that call on Israel to pullout from territories it occupied in 1967 - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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