PA Critical of New Freeze Plan

Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat criticized on Sunday the latest American-proposed plan for a new freeze by Israel because it does not include Jerusalem.

The Arabs “have a major problem in not including east Jerusalem,” he said hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed the new building moratorium with the “Inner Cabinet” of seven senior ministers.

The term “east Jerusalem” refers to areas in northern, southern and eastern Jerusalem that were restored to Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967 and were legally incorporated into the capital in 1980. The United States and most of the international community accepts PA demands for sovereignty over the areas, which the PA wants to be the capital of its proposed new Arab state.

The Associated Press continues to refer to the areas as “war-won” although both Jews and Arabs lived there under the British Mandate before the re-establishment of Israel in 1948.

Erekat did not reject the proposal but said a final decision will not be made until Palestinian Authority leaders, and presumably the Arab League, discuss it.

Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the American proposal, which would go further than the expired 10-month building freeze and would cover all building, including those already under construction in Judea and Samaria. The freeze would last for 90 days and be non-renewable, according to the proposal.

More than 1,600 new homes are in the initial stages of construction in more than 60 Jewish communities since the end of the freeze nearly two month ago, according to the Peace Now organization.


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