Netanyahu considering plan to separate East Jerusalem neighborhoods
AHMAD GHARABLI (AFP)
Likud party lawmaker Dr Anat Berko presented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a plan on Thursday to separate East Jerusalem neighborhood from Jerusalem and grant municipal authority to the local residents, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The plan, which included maps and aerial photos, is intended as a transitional plan which will grant local Palestinians municipal authority over their own neighborhoods, absolving the Israeli government of municapal responsibility for the local residents.
Political sources told the Jerusalem Post that Berko had been considering the plan for some time and that Netanyahu was expected to dismiss it. Instead, the prime minister asked that Berko leave the plan with him for his consideration but not divulge it to the media.
Diplomatic sources also told the Jerusalem Post that talks between Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump included a possible plan to transfer some municipal authority in certain Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem over to local residents.
Berko refused to comment on the report, according to the Jerusalem Post. Sources also said Berko had met with Netanyahu several times in order to discuss the detailed plan.
The report comes one day after Netanyahu said the Western Wall and the Temple Mount will always be under Israeli authority, at a meeting in Israel's parliament marking 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem.
"Only under our sovereignty Jerusalem had become an island of tolerance," Netanyahu said. "Jerusalem, like all of Israel was deserted on the sidelines of Ottoman Empire until the Jewish state."
Netanyahu told lawmakers that the reunification of Jerusalem by Israeli forces corrected “a historic injustice” and the “achievement of brave fighters 50 years ago will remain forever."
Israel claims Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians claim the city's eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
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