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'J'lem will be Palestinian capital'

January 28, 2010 11:59

Abbas: Peace talks can’t start until Israel stops Jerusalem construction.

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, left, talks

abbas mitchell 311. (photo credit:AP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said that the Palestinians would not accept Abu Dis, a town between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim that is currently controlled by the PA, as the capital of their future state, but would insist on receiving control over east Jerusalem.

In an interview with an Arab-language Russian TV channel, Abbas explained that while he feels east and west must not be divided in practice, it was important that it would be clear which part of the capital belongs to the Palestinians and which part belongs to Israel.

The PA president said that the Israeli demand to be recognized as a Jewish state appeared only in the 1947 partition plan, hinting that Israel would have to implement that plan in order to gain recognition as a Jewish state.

Abbas went on to explain that he could not resume peace talks with Israel without agreeing on basic issues and while Israel continued construction in east Jerusalem, because the peace process would suffer a serious blow already after the first meeting.

“What if they say in this meeting that they do not accept the ’67 borders and are not prepared to discuss [the issues of] and the [return of Palestinian] refugees? What would we talk about?” Abbas was quoted as telling the Russian TV channel. “If I engage in negotiations while construction in goes on – they will say that is theirs, since I was willing to resume talks while construction continued.”

has rejected two ideas about resuming the peace talks, consolidated by the PA, and , Abbas claimed. Those ideas reportedly included a short building moratorium in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Israeli recognition of international decisions and the resumption of peace talks from the point they were halted in December 2008, under then-prime minister Ehud Olmert.

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  • Jerusalem
  • Mahmoud Abbas
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Peace process
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