Abbas: During Bush era Israel accepted east Jerusalem as capital

In interview with Al-Jazeera, Palestinian leader says Israel and Ramallah reached understandings on establishment of Palestinian state within 1967 border, but Israel dodged US efforts to implement them

Roee Nahmias

uring George W. Bush’s presidency Israel and the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement according to which Israel would recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, but Israel dodged the former American leader’s efforts to implement the understandings, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed.

 

In an interview with Arab television network Al-Jazeera, Abbas said Israel had also agreed that a Palestinian state would be established within the 1967 borders.

 

The Palestinian leader said the collapse of peace negotiations between Israel and the PA could have led to a “popular uprising” or a “Palestinian revolt,” but ruled out the possibility of a military conflict with Israel.

 

Abbas said the Palestinians would continue their “political struggle for the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital” and would approach the UN on the matter.

 

President Abbas said the Palestinians would make “other decisions” should the stalemate in the negotiations with Israel continue, but he ruled out the possibility of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

 

Abbas also told Al-Jazeera that the Palestinians rejected an offer to launch secret negotiations with Defense Minister Ehud Barak because, according to him, they would have been futile in light of Israel’s refusal to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.

 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday slammed Israel’s refusal to halt settlement building in the West Bank and warned that time is running out to save Middle East peace talks.

 

With Palestinians now pressing for the UN Security Council to condemn the settlements, Ban said he was “very concerned at the lack of progress towards peace.”

 

AFP contributed to the report

Abbas: During Bush era Israel accepted east Jerusalem as capital – Israel News, Ynetnews.

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