Peace cannot be based on ignoring the truth, an Israeli government official said Sunday, in reaction to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's comments about the Arab-Islamic claims to the city.
Abbas was speaking at the International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem in Doha, Qatar. Palestinian Ma'an news agency quoting him as saying, "The Israeli occupation authorities are using the ugliest and most dangerous means to implement plans to erase and remove the Arab-Islamic and the Christian character of east Jerusalem," making no mention of city's Jewish history.
The Israeli official pointed out that at the 2000 Camp David negotiations between then prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Arafat denied there ever was a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, saying this was the reason he was not willing to make any compromises on the Holy City.
"I hope the current generation of Palestinian leadership will not make the same mistake Arafat made," the official said. "If the Palestinian side continues with a position that denies reality, that totally negates Jewish rights, then there can be no basis for peace and co-existence."
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