Lieberman: Silwan is Israel's forever
Tells Post he would exchange Abu Dis for settlement blocks; says Israel won't part with holy places.
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
October 17, 2007 10:58
1 minute read.
Lieberman Jerusalem 224..
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Arab neighborhood of Silwan will remain part of Israel forever, Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on a tour of the City of David on Wednesday.
Lieberman differentiated between various Arab neighborhoods, saying that he would trade Abu Dis for settlement blocks as part of a territorial and population exchange agreement with the Palestinians, but Silwan could not be part of any such deal.
"You can't transfer your history to anyone else," Lieberman told The Jerusalem Post at the entrance to the Shiloah stream. "Silwan is on the seam line between the Old City and the new city. It divides the east and west, and it is part of our history."
Lieberman also said Silwan was "integral," and that giving it up would be "unreasonable" and would "divide Jerusalem from the inside."
He added that he found no problem with Jews settling in Arab neighborhoods in the eastern half of the city, saying that he saw no difference between the east and the west.
Speaking to Russian press, Lieberman said the Arab neighborhoods adjacent to holy places like Silwan would be "ours forever."
Pointing to an ancient water structure while in an underground tunnel, Lieberman said that "sometimes the politicians need to go against the stream."