Abbas Meeting Netanyahu at Home Breaks PLO Boycott of Jerusalem
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem—one week after the PLO said the united capital should be boycotted.
The two leaders will meet for the second time two days following Tuesday’s discussions at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el Sheikh. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East envoy George Mitchell again will oversee the talks.
The Prime Minister’s official residence is located next to Paris Square, at the edge of the Rehavia neighborhood near downtown Jerusalem. It also is only several hundred feet from the David Citadel Hotel, the venue of the World Jewish Congress convention two weeks ago.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is the superior body overseeing the PA, called the event a “provocation to the feelings of Arab and Islamic nations” because most of the world does not recognize it as Israel’s capital.
The official Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) WAFA news agency reported its “deep concern because Israel opened the door to the World Jewish Congress to hold its 14th meeting in occupied Jerusalem [with] the participation of more than 200 representatives of Jewish groups in the world.”
Although the David Citadel Hotel is within the limits of Jerusalem that were recognized by the United Nations after the 1949 armistice that officially ended the War of Independence, WAFA said that holding the convention there was “a blatant defiance of the resolutions of international legitimacy, which considers all Israeli actions in Jerusalem 'invalid and illegal', which emphasizes that Jerusalem is part and parcel of the occupied territory."
The United States, like the rest of the international community, relocated its embassy to Tel Aviv after Jerusalem was united during the Six-Day War in 1967. U.S. President Barack Obama has strongly opposed a Jewish presence in neighborhoods in the areas restored to Israel after the war, and he has labeled the Jewish areas “settlements.”
Approximately 300,000 Jews live in the neighborhoods that mass media mistakenly call “eastern Jerusalem.” The homes are located in the southern, and northern—as well as the eastern—areas of the capital and include Shimon HaTzaddik (Sheikh Jarrah), Ramat Shlomo, French Hill, Ramat Eshkol, Ramot, Gilo, Har Homa and part of Talpiot.