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Jerusalem the capital of 'Palestine'? Not anytime soon

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Senior US official makes clear to Arutz Sheva: Possibility of recognizing East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital is not on the agenda.

A US administration official told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that, for the time being, the possibility of Washington recognizing eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state is not being considered nor is it on the agenda.

The official was responding to comments made by a senior Israeli political official, who was quoted in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper expressing concern that if the results of the midterm elections in the US lead to a weakening of the Republicans, the pressure on President Donald Trump to reach a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) will increase.

The Israeli concern, the senior official said, includes the possibility that Jerusalem will be included in the American political proposal. This could mean defining “East Jerusalem” as the capital of a future Palestinian state parallel to the recognition already given to “West Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel.

The American official said in response that "our statement on Jerusalem was clear and accompanied by the relocation of the embassy. Such assessments are as good as those we heard about the peace plan, which is in the final stages of formulation and which we are discussing with Israel."

Official US sources said that the administration will not be relating to the discussions surrounding President Trump's peace plan at this time and will discuss it as a whole in the future.

There has been much speculation about Trump’s peace plan but exact details about it have yet to be unveiled. Last week, US envoy Jason Greenblatt revealed in an interview with Yediot Aharonot that the plan includes a provision for Palestinian Arab unity.

"Let’s be clear about something: Gaza and the West Bank have been separated for 10 years, not only physically, but politically—between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. It’s absurd to deny that reality," he said.

"In contrast, our peace plan intends to bring them together. Make no mistake; we are in this to help all Palestinians, in both the West Bank and Gaza. The type of disinformation being spread by some parties who have not even seen the plan yet wish to be spoilers does nothing to benefit ordinary Palestinian lives.”

Greenblatt did not reveal further details of the White House peace plan, but implored all parties involved to withhold judgment until the specifics of the plan are released.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials have been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December. They argue that, due to this move, the US is no longer an honest broker for peace talks.
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