Barkat blasts proposed division of Jerusalem

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
October 9, 2007 17:39

 
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Jerusalem opposition leader Nir Barkat said Tuesday that Israeli talk of a future division of Jerusalem as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians posed an "existential threat" to the city's future. "The talk about the division of Jerusalem expresses a lack of basic Jewish and national values which are likely to pose an existential threat to the future well-being of Jerusalem and to its status as the capital of the Jewish people," Barkat wrote in a letter to Israeli government ministers. His remarks came one day after Vice Premier Haim Ramon reiterated Prime Minster Ehud Olmert's longstanding views that outlying Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem could be given to the Palestinians as part of a final peace treaty, and amid an Arabic press report which suggested that Olmert has agreed to Jordanian custodianship over Muslim holy sites in east Jerusalem including the Temple Mount. Barkat, who is a member of Olmert's Kadima Party and a contender in next year's mayoral elections, suggested last month that he may quit the party due to its stance over Jerusalem, but has temporarily frozen such a move.

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