Ramon: Gov't will support Jerusalem plan

October 8, 2007 09:17

Says Israel Beiteinu, Labor will back land transfer; stresses Jewish, democratic Israel as top priority.

ramon haim 248 88

ramon haim 298 88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Vice Premier Haim Ramon said on Monday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's coalition would support his plan to give the Palestinians several east Jerusalem neighborhoods in exchange for territory in the West Bank. In an interview with Army Radio, Ramon said that even Israel Beiteinu would back such a concession, as would the Labor Party. "There are two central parties that agree to this," Ramon said. "The most important thing is to preserve the state of Israel Jewish and democratic." On Sunday, Ramon hinted that his plan, announced last month, would be on the negotiating table at the November Middle East peace meeting in Annapolis. Ramon's associates said afterwards that he had merely stated his own positions that he has favored for many years. They said his views had become mainstream and were even adopted by Israel Beiteinu. According to the plan, Israel would not transfer control of the Old City and neighborhoods around it to the Palestinians, Ramon said in the Monday interview. In Sunday's cabinet meeting, Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman surprised many by agreeing that Israel should cede control of certain areas of Jerusalem, while strengthening its control of areas such as the Old City and Mount Scopus.

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