Qurei: Palestinians want Jerusalem in deal

Oct. 4, 2008 at 3:06 PM

JERUSALEM, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei says Palestinian leaders will never end their territorial roe with Israel without gaining control of Jerusalem in the deal.

Qurei said during a meeting with Sheikh Raed Salah, who controls the Islamic Movement in Israel, that without Israel handing over control of Jerusalem to Palestinians, no agreement can ever be reached between the two sides, The Jerusalem Post reported Saturday.

The negotiator said Palestinian leaders also are concerned Israeli control of the city means Judaism is spreading throughout Jerusalem.

"The Palestinian leadership is decisive (in its stance) not to negotiate and conclude matters with the Israelis without Jerusalem," he said "The postponement of the discussion of this issue is aimed at continuing the Israeli plans to Judaize the holy city, especially the al-Aksa mosque."

"The Palestinian people reject the harming of their local holy places -- both the Muslim and the Christian -- in Jerusalem, and see this as a crossing of red lines and creation of a reality on the ground in an attempt to create precedents which would preclude the results of the negotiations on a final status agreement."

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