Qorei: No Deal with Israel Without Full Withdrawal from Jerusalem
The top Palestinian peace negotiator insisted Sunday there would be no deal with Israel unless it made a full withdrawal from Jerusalem and other occupied territories.
"Any solution that does not include an Israeli withdrawal from Jerusalem and Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem is rejected," Ahmed Qorei, who is also speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, told Voice of Palestine radio.
"They want the Palestinian side to be flexible, but on what? They want parts of Palestinian flesh when they request Israeli sovereignty on al-Haram al-Sharif," he said referring to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City that is the third holiest site in Islam.
Sovereignty over east Jerusalem, particularly the Old City, is the key sticking point in efforts to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord and led to the collapse of the Camp David summit a month ago.
"We are also going to refuse any solution that does not include an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian lands, which were occupied in 1967," Qorei said, referring to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
He said that after Camp David, there had been no "real serious negotiations," adding that Israel's position in the talks must be one that abides by international resolutions.
"In absence of that, we are going to continue merely to tread water," he said.
The two sides face a September 13 deadline for an accord on Jerusalem, final borders, Palestinian refugees, Jewish settlements and water and security issues.
The United States and Egypt are intensifying efforts to bring the Palestinians and Israelis closer to an accord, particularly on Jerusalem, and President Bill Clinton is due in Cairo on Tuesday for talks with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak.
Clinton is also due to hold separate meetings with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 6.
But Qorei said there were "no signs" of a three-way summit -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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