Palestinian PM rejects Israeli plan to divide worshipping zone in Jerusalem

Ramallah, Jun 13 (IANS): Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye has rejected an Israeli plan to divide the Muslim worshipping zone in East Jerusalem between Jews and Muslims.

Ishtaye made the remarks on Monday during the weekly meeting of the Palestinian Authority cabinet held in the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to a statement from his office.

Israel Radio reported that Israeli parliament member Amit Halevy from the Likud Party proposed dividing the worshipping zone between Jews and Muslims at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is known by the Jews as the Temple Mount.

The report added that Halevi's plan would give Muslims control of the southern end of the compound, which contains the Al-Aqsa Mosque, while Jews would receive the central and northern areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ishtaye warned against the plan, saying it would "cause overwhelming anger with unpredictable results because of the sanctity and religious value Al-Aqsa Mosque constitutes for the Palestinian people and Arabs and Muslims".

He called for an Arab, Islamic and international action "that goes beyond denunciation and condemnation to imposing sanctions that would prevent any change in Al-Aqsa Mosque and stop any violation in Jerusalem".

The Palestinians want the eastern part of Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967, to be the capital of their independent state, while Israelis insist that the entire city is their capital.

Ishtaye also called for real international pressure "to stop Israel's implementation of the settlement plan known as E1, which aims to undermine the chances of establishing a contiguous Palestinian state".

"According to this plan, a new settlement will be built linking the Jerusalem settlements with the Ma'ale Adumim settlement, which means dividing the West Bank into two separate areas," the Palestinian Prime Minister said.

Israeli settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is one of the thorny issues between the two sides, which led to the halting of their direct peace negotiations.



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Title: Palestinian PM rejects Israeli plan to divide worshipping zone in Jerusalem

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