Abbas: 'East Jerusalem is Ours'

Ad Feedback - BETHLEHEM - In his opening remarks at the Palestine Investment Conference, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said east Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinian people.

"East Jerusalem is ours and it is occupied territory. It must be returned," Abbas told the 1,000 businessmen and politicians who arrived in Bethlehem to attend the conference.

The PA hopes the three-day conference will entice local and international investors to consider a broad range of projects that will bolster the Palestinian economy.

Conference director Hassan Abu Libdeh told reporters that a Saudi company is investing $250 million in a construction project, which includes offices, apartments, malls and a hotel in Bireh, outside Ramallah, where the PA government is headquartered.

Abbas also told participants he'd received encouraging news from Cairo in its efforts to secure a tahdiyah [temporary calm] in the Gaza Strip.

The PA president also said he welcomed the latest news on Israeli-Syrian negotiations and reports of the truce in Lebanon, with Hezbollah receiving veto power in a unity government.

An estimated 2,000 Palestinian policemen were deployed to keep conference attendees and the 400 media members covering the event out of harm's way.

The PA spent $500,000 sprucing up the area for the conference from which they hope to glean some $2 billion in investment.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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