Do we need any more proof that Abbas is not serious about making peace? Every day they have been announcing what they want. First it was all of Judea and Samaria, then it was the entire east Jerusalem, then it was the the Temple Mount….now they say the want the Kotel too. The only problem is Olmert the fool might just give it to them.
Palestinians Want Control Over Jewish Western Wall
By Julie Stahl
CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
October 11, 2007
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – An adviser to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that in a final deal with Israel, the Palestinians want sovereignty over the Western Wall — a demand that Israel called unhelpful to the Israeli-Palestinian process.
The demand is the latest in a series of public declarations about what Palestinians want in a final status agreement with Israel. The discussions precede a U.S. sponsored meeting in Annapolis, Md., in November that is intended to put the negotiating process back on track.
Adnan Husseini, the P.A. adviser on Jerusalem Affairs, said Palestinian sovereignty over the Western Wall is not open for discussion because it is part of what he called the Al Aksa Mosque compound. (In other words, Husseini was suggesting that it is a foregone conclusion that the Western Wall is part of Islamic territory and therefore must come under Palestinian control in a final settlement.)
In a radio interview, Husseini said it would be up to the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams to come up with an arrangement that would respect religious sentiments of all sides.
Both the Wall and the compound have been under Israeli sovereignty since 1967, when Israel reunited Jerusalem following its victory in the Six-Day war. But Palestinians want the ancient Old City and Temple Mount to be part of their capital in a future Palestinian state.
The Western (Wailing) Wall is the outer retaining wall of the compound where two successive temples were built in ancient times. The last of the two temples was destroyed in 70 A.D.
The Western Wall is currently a place of prayer and pilgrimage for Jews around the world, and the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.
The mosque compound, which towers above the Western Wall, is known to Muslims as the Haram al Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam. It is currently home to Muslim shrines, including the Al Aksa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said statements such as those about the Western Wall are unhelpful to the process.
“We think the best way to move forward in this [process] is through intensive and discreet discussion with Palestinian interlocutors,” Regev told Cybercast News Service.
“The continued public demands by Palestinians are not helping any process of discussions that we hope will succeed,” Regev said.
Olmert and Abbas have met a number of times over the past few months – both by themselves and with their advisers present – in a process aimed at hammering out a final declaration to be presented at the U.S.-sponsored meeting.