Abbas blasts Netanyahu's comments on Jerusalem

PA chairman's office rejects Netanyahu's statement that Jerusalem will remain under Jewish sovereignty.

Elad Benari,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The office of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's statement that Jerusalem would remain under Jewish sovereignty.

"East Jerusalem, with its holy sites for Islam and Christianity, is the capital of the Palestinian state and will remain so forever," said Abbas's bureau, according to Yediot Aharonot.

The bureau claimed that Netanyahu's words create tension and undermine U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts to establish peace between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis.

Netanyahu earlier on Wednesday spoke to the Knesset about Jerusalem Day, saying, "We will not go back to a situation in which we can look at the Western Wall, but cannot approach it.”

"To you, the members of the Knesset, the citizens of Israel, and to the entire world, I want to make it clear: The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will forever stay under Israel's sovereignty,” he stressed.

The comments from Abbas's bureau follow Trump's Israel visit this week, in which he reiterated his desire to broke a peace deal between Israel and the PA.

Abbas reportedly told Trump during their meeting on Tuesday that he is willing to begin peace negotiations with Israel right away.

Whether Abbas is sincere in his remarks that he wishes to begin talks has yet to be determined. To date, Abbas has rejected calls by Israel to sit down for direct negotiations, choosing instead to impose preconditions on such talks.




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