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Negotiator Erekat: Jerusalem Will Remain Unified in Peace Deal

But, according to Palestinian analysts, the Palestinian street isn't interested and doesn't think it's affected by the peace process.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shaking hands with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jerusalem. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer says Erekat now supports a unified Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shaking hands with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jerusalem. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer says Erekat now supports a unified Jerusalem.
Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/FLASH90



According to a Kol Israel report on Saturday, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat has told U.S. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, on a visit to Jerusalem with a group of 36 Democratic Congress members, that by the end of the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Jerusalem will remain a unified city.

On Wednesday, Hoyer told a press conference in Jerusalem that Erekat had talked to him about “the necessity to live together with mutual respect.”

“I asked whether the [Palestinian] school curriculum would comport with that objective,” Hoyer said, saying that Erekat had indicated “that they had not done so perfectly, but he believes they are working on that and trying to get to that objective.”

Regarding the status of Jerusalem, Hoyer said Erekat had not specified what kind of sovereignty would be applied to Jerusalem, nor if it would be unified as a Jewish city.

Hoyer, and the majority of the U.S. Congress—according to the Whip—believe in significant alterations of the 1967 borders. He told Kol Israel that he believes the Palestinian right of return may only be realized within the future Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, Palestinian political analyst Abdel Majid Sweilam has told AFP: “The talks are doomed to failure. There’s no chance for success.”

And Israel’s scheduled Tuesday release of the first third of the group of 104 Palestinian terrorists imprisoned before the 1993 Oslo accords, would fail to appease the Palestinian public or convince them that the talks are serious this time, Sweilam said.

Palestinian analyst Hani Habib agreed: “The Palestinian street isn’t interested in, and doesn’t think it’s affected by, what happens in the peace process,” he told AFP. “The average Palestinian citizen has grown accustomed to years of there being no talks, and is more interested in their own wellbeing. The only elements of Palestinian society interested in the big (peace) issues are the politicians and the media.”

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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