Jewish Home Chairman, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, pithily rejected Thursday the Palestinian Authority (PA) demand that Israel give a commitment that the future Palestinian state would include eastern Jerusalem.
"You wanted a commitment? Here it is: Eastern Jerusalem will never be your capital,” wrote Bennett on his Facebook page.
The PA-based Ma'an news agency quoted chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat as citing the seven conditions he relayed to Israel Wednesday night, in the stormy session with Israel's negotiating team:
1. A written letter from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which he gives a commitment that the Palestinian state will be established and that its capital will be East Jerusalem.
2. The release of 1,200 terrorists, which the PA says was agreed upon when Ehud Olmert was prime minister. These include multiple-murderer Marwan Barghouti, PFLP leader Ahmed Saadat, and Fuad al-Shubaki, who was responsible for the attempt to smuggle a huge amount of arms into Gaza on board the Karine A.
3. Implementation of the agreement on checkpoints and removal of the siege on Gaza.
4. The return of the Church of Nativity expellees.
The IDF besieged the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem April 2 to May 10, 2002, as part of Operation Defensive Shield, after 39 terrorists had holed up there. The terrorists took shelter in the famous church, and used about 40 priests and nuns as a shield, knowing Israel would not take a chance on inadvertently hurting priests and nuns. The siege was ended through an agreement that involved exiling the terrorists to other countries.
5. The granting of full Israeli citizenship to 15,000 Palestinian Arabs in a process of family reunification.
6. A halt to construction in eastern Jerusalem and the reopening of PA institutions there which have been closed down by Israel.
7. No more entry by IDF forces into areas under PA control, no more arrests and eliminations, and the handing over of Area C to PA control.