Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Signs Point to Agreement on Jerusalem

A number of signs, including Israeli trial balloons and Arab media reports, seem to add up to an apparent agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on the issue of Jerusalem. It would appear that minimally, it has been agreed that Arab neighborhoods of the capital will be ceded to Palestinian control and Jordan will continue as custodian of Islamic holy sites. That might include control over the Temple Mount. Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon, who serves as Olmert's “trial-balloon-launcher,” has, for more than a month, been espousing the division of the city. Although he has been thoroughly trashed by a broad representation of the political spectrum – including those from his, and the prime minister's – own party, notably absent is any criticism or disavowal from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. At the same time, there have been reports in the Arabic-language media quoting aides to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud 'Abbas as saying that the deal has been cut and that Jerusalem will be divided. Specific neighborhoods that will come under Palestinian control have been named.
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