Abbas: Jerusalem should be open for all, capital of two states

Meanwhile Jordanian MP Yehia al-Soud called for the Israeli envoy to be expelled due to raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Abbas: Jerusalem should be open for all, capital of two states

World Bulletin / News Desk

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asserted on Sunday that Al-Quds should remain open to the followers of all faiths and become the capital of Palestine and Israel.

"We do not want Al-Quds to be divided; we want it an open city where Jews coexist side by side with the Palestinians," Abbas told a delegation of 170 Israeli youths who visited him at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The Palestinian leader criticized, meanwhile, Israel's continued settlement building.

"We will not recognize a Jewish state and will not accept the presence of Israeli soldiers on Palestinian territories," he insisted.

Abbas said his government strives to take steps forward in making peace with the Israelis with the aim of creating a Palestinian state on all Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 with Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) as its capital.

"The Palestinian leadership hopes that peace negotiations with the Israelis would succeed," he added, noting that April 29 would be the deadline for these negotiations.

Abbas vowed that he would not allow the conflict with the Israelis to turn violent.

He briefed the Israeli youths about conditions in the Palestinian territories as well as Israeli practices on the ground, accusing Israel of stealing Palestinian water.

Dozens of Palestinians staged a demonstration on Sunday to protest Abbas meeting with the Israeli youths.

US-brokered peace talks between the two sides had resumed last July after a three-year hiatus.

However, talks hit a snag following the self-proclaimed Jewish state's recent announcement that it had planned to build a host of new Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement construction must stop before a comprehensive final-status agreement can be reached.

Jordanian MPs demand expulsion of Israeli envoy

Several Jordanian lawmakers on Sunday asked their government to expel the Israeli ambassador in protest at an Israeli proposal to end Jordanian supervision on Islamic shrines in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem).

"Israel's aggressions and repeated storming of Al-Aqsa are a mere prelude to the division of the mosque and terminating Jordan's supervision on the holy shrines," MP Yehia al-Soud, who heads a bloc of 11 lawmakers called "Palestine Parliamentary Committee," told a press conference.

An Israeli legislator has recently proposed a bill to bring Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine, under Israeli supervision.

The Israeli Knesset is expected to debate the issue later this week.

"The Israelis are trying to impose a new status quo….This would be the last nail in the coffin of Israel," said MP al-Soud.

"For Arabs and Muslims around the world, Al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line," he insisted.

Jordan has been supervising Al-Aqsa Mosque and other endowments in Al-Quds since 1948.

Al-Quds was captured by Israel during the 1967 war, before Tel Aviv decided to annex the holy city years later.

A 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel recognizes Jordan's special supervisory role over holy sites in Al-Quds.

A Jordanian government source said earlier that Amman would not allow Israel to impose its control on holy sites in Al-Quds.

"Jordan will approach the international community and international bodies about this Israeli intransigence," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Last Mod: 17 Şubat 2014, 09:50
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