“All of Jerusalem remains a final status issue for negotiations,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.
By World Israel News Staff
“All of Jerusalem remains a final status issue for negotiations,” said Palestinian senior official Saeb Erekat in response to Australia’s recognition of ‘west Jerusalem.’
“I want those who claim that only east Jerusalem is at the negotiations table, study the agreements signed. It says: (Jerusalem) permanent status issue. Not east, not west,” Erekat tweeted Monday night.
Erekat, who leads the PLO’s Executive Committee, is a longtime Palestinian negotiator who was part of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991 and helped negotiate the Oslo Accords.
“Australia now recognizes West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday. “It is the right of every country to determine its national capital,” he added.
Erekat issued a statement immediately after Australia’s announcement, saying, “From the beginning, we’ve perceived the Australian government’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as one wherein petty domestic politics steer irresponsible policies that contradict world peace and security.”
From Israel’s point of view Australia’s declaration didn’t go far enough as it identified only “west Jerusalem” as Israel’s capital.
Tzahi Hanegbi, Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation, said, “To our regret, within this positive news they made a mistake. There is no division between the east of the city and west of the city. Jerusalem is one whole, united. Israel’s control over it is eternal. Our sovereignty will not be partitioned nor undermined. And we hope Australia will soon find the way to fix the mistake it made.”