Netanyahu: Gov't Planning to Cede Capital

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - On Wednesday, Likud chairman and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu said there's no doubt that the Olmert government is planning to divide Jerusalem.

"This weak government is prepared to give away Jerusalem and is acting in order to give it away," Netanyahu said. "All its denials and attempts at whitewashing will do no good," he said.

Netanyahu continued to urge the ultra-Orthodox Shas party to leave the government if it wants to help "save Jerusalem."

"Why are you still in the government?" Netanyahu asked members of the Shas party. "Why are you granting Olmert a carpet so he can cede Jerusalem?" he asked them.

Following Tuesday's meeting between Israel's prime minister and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Olmert said they did not discuss Jerusalem.

"The issue of Jerusalem did not come up in the discussion," he said. "I'm not aware of changes in the Israeli position," Olmert stated.

But Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the two leaders discussed all the "core issues" during their meeting, including the division of Jerusalem.

Within two weeks, the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams will begin discussing other issues, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, heads of their respective teams, will decide on the topics.

While discussions on core issues have been conducted outside public scrutiny, Livni wants to actively engage the media in the upcoming discussions to show the talks are progressing.

Earlier in the week, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said negotiations were proceeding much too slowly.

Source: Haaretz

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