Syria Says Clinton Middle East Peace Proposals ‘Render Service to Israel’
Proposals by US President Bill Clinton for peace between Israel and the Palestinians "render service to Israel" and do not respond to the "minimum demands" of the Palestinian people, the daily of Syria's ruling party said Tuesday.
Al-Baath said "the American proposals are a service rendered to Israel, and a number of Palestinian leaders have rejected them because they do not respond to the minimum demands of the Palestinian people."
The newspaper said "Americans and Israelis have agreed in advance to these proposals and will work toward the Palestinians accepting them before the end of Bill Clinton's term of office" on January 20.
Clinton's proposals reportedly involve Israel turning over control of Arab neighborhoods in occupied east Jerusalem to the Palestinians along with the al-Aqsa mosque compound, or Haram al-Sharif, known to Jews as Temple Mount.
However, the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, would remain under Israeli sovereignty.
In return, Palestinians would waive the right of return for some 3.7 million refugees, with only a small number allowed back to Israel for family reunification, the reports say.
In addition, Israel would withdraw from 95 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip, territories the Jewish state has occupied along with east Jerusalem since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war -- DAMASCUS (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)