NEWS for Labor Day Weekend, September 1-4, 2000
NEW PROPOSAL WOULD PLACE JERUSALEM UNDER "DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY"
JERUSALEM, Aug. 31 (CWNews.com)
Israeli and Palestinian
negotiators have begun considering a new proposal to end
the gridlock over the status of Jerusalem by declaring that
God alone has sovereignty over the city sacred to three
The status of Jerusalem which is claimed in its entirety by
Israel as its "eternal, undivided capital" and Palestinians
who want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future
Palestinian state has become the major stumbling block to
progress in the Middle East peace process. The new
proposal, still in its tentative, formative stages, would
declare God as the sovereign over Jerusalem and its holy
places and has earned cautious support from Jerusalem's
Israeli mayor and a leading Palestinian official, two of
the most rabid opponents to any accommodation.
Menachem Klein, a member of an Israeli think tank that has
been advising Prime Minister Ehud Barak in the negotiations
with the Palestinians, said the idea was first floated after
July's Mideast summit at Camp David broke down because both
Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat insisted they
could never give up control over shrines holy to Muslims
At the core of the dispute is the disposition of the Temple
Mount, the location of the Jewish Temples and now two major
Muslim mosques. If God is declared sovereign over the city,
both Barak and Arafat may be able to reach an agreement
without being declared traitors by their constituents.
Klein said negotiators could then start working out the
details of how sovereignty is expressed, such as who would
be in charge of security and who would issue permits for
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