Palestinian official assails Sharon on Jerusalem

The minister of state for Jerusalem affairs in the Palestinian Cabinet on Tuesday accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of deception in withdrawing from Gaza. Hind Khoury, who joined Mahmoud Abbas' cabinet in February, told reporters "Gaza disengagement was used as a smokescreen to undermine Jerusalem as a subject for negotiations." Khoury, who will be seeing White House and State Department officials this week, said Sharon has never had any intention of relinquishing more than 40 percent of the West Bank for a Palestinian state and is tightening Israel's hold on Jerusalem. "There can be no viable state - without a chance - without Jerusalem as its capital," she said.