Thursday, December 25, 2008

If We're "Returning" Property, Can We Start With the Temple Mount?

The Pals. are renewing a dormant idea, as MediaLine reports:

Palestinians: Hand Back our West Jerusalem Properties

A team of Palestinian experts is currently collecting data on Palestinian properties in weste! RN Jerusalem that will be presented at final status negotiations on the issue of Jerusalem, or to the International High Court of Justice if negotiations aren’t resumed, according to a senior Palestinian official. The governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Husseini, estimates that Palestinians owned 40 percent of the 17 kilometers square, which included the boundaries of western Jerusalem until the year 1948.

“We want to raise the issue of our properties in western Jerusalem; this is an official decision, there can be no debate over this decision. We are not talking about a small issue and since Israel is implementing this idea in east Jerusalem, then there is no reason why we can’t raise it in western Jerusalem,” Husseini said.

...“There is serious work [being done] on several files. We will follow up our rights in western Jerusalem. This is a battle that the Israelis decided to open and we will pursue it until the end both legally and politically... I have a house in western Jerusalem and I want it back,” said Husseini.

“After what the Israelis did in Sheikh Jarrah and elsewhere in east Jerusalem, there is nothing we have to be afraid of – we will enter this battle and let the result be whatever is. For us the file of the private properties in western Jerusalem should be open; this is a decision we have made,” he added.

Husseini was for a long time the head of the Islamic Waqf in east Jerusalem before assuming this new position.

...Husseini stressed that according to the Oslo Accords, the issue of Jerusalem was being left to the final stage of negotiations. “When we say Jerusalem we mean both parts of the city, west and east. It is true that Israel is trying to limit the negotiations to the eastern part of the city, but this is not acceptable to us. We want to discuss both parts, and when we will reach an agreement, then the eastern part will be the capital of the Palestinian state and the western part will be the capital of Israel,” he said.

...The Media Line has contacted various Israeli governmental institutions and will publish their responses over the next few days. Meanwhile, the office of Jerusalem’s new mayor, Nir Barkat, told TML “the ownership issue is a legal one and it should be determined using legal tools that are acceptable within the framework of the Israeli courts’ system. The municipality has not received any concrete material yet. In addition, the Jerusalem municipality will not allow any attempt by any organizations in the political arena of the Palestinian Authority to impinge upon Israel’s sovereignty over united Jerusalem.”

Well, if they give over the Temple Mount, purchased by David son of Jesse, developed by Solomon son of David, reconstructed by Ezra, redeveloped by Herod, etc., maybe there's something to talk about.

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