Chief Palestinian Authority Negotiator Saeb Erekat on Saturday denied a report claiming that PA President Mahmoud Abbas submitted a written proposal agreeing to Israel maintaining control over the Western Wall and carrying out a land swap in the West Bank, reported Israel Radio.
According to a Saturday report in the London-based pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, Abbas had agreed that the Western Wall
and the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem remain under Israeli
sovereignty in the context of a peace agreement between Israel and the
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Al-Hayat reported that Abbas made the offer in “written
ideas” he presented to US Middle East envoy George Mitchell at the beginning of
the “proximity talks” with Israel.
Abbas’s ideas, the newspaper report
said, called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on land
equal to 100 percent of the entire West Bank, while carrying out a 2.3% land
swap between the two sides.
Palestinian officials in Ramallah said that
Abbas’s proposals were largely based on the peace negotiations conducted in
2000, first at Camp David and later at the Egyptian resort of Taba.
proposed land swap would enable Israel to annex large settlement blocs
West Bank such as Gush Etzion, Givat Ze’ev and Modi’in Ilit, as well as a
of land opposite Ben-Gurion Airport, the officials told the newspaper.
return, the Palestinians would be given a strip of land adjacent to
would be the same size as the territory annexed by Israel, they
With regard to Jerusalem, Abbas’s ideas envisage an Israeli
withdrawal from east Jerusalem, including the Old City, with the
the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter. The city would also remain open
followers of all religions.
In addition, the safe passage between the
West Bank and Gaza Strip would be reopened, the report said.
the Prime Minister’s Office refused to comment on the Al-Hayat
report on Saturday night.