Ahmad Qureia', Palestinian senior negotiator, denied on Thursday media reports published by the Israeli daily Newspaper of Yaduth Ahronoth of delaying the final status negotiations on Jerusalem for five years, to be replaced by arranging activities of autonomy of administrative and municipal services in some Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem for a trial period of time.
The Israeli Newspaper of Yadoth Ahronoth had quoted on Thursday a Palestinian source as saying that the US had presented to both the Palestinians and Israelis a proposal for delaying the final status negotiations over Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees, in which negotiations will be delayed and replaced by a declaration of an agreement of principles by the end of this year. According to the Palestinian source, the two sides may reach a new agreement of principles that would allow the Palestinian Authority to autonomously provide some services for Palestinians living in East Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Eli Yishai, head of the Israeli party Shas, commented on these reports saying that, "the moment there is any change in the state of Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem, Shas will immediately quit the government." He added that "Israel should do its utmost to resist American pressure and reject the initiative."
Responses from the Israeli Left were also critical of the reported plan. MK Ophir Pines-Paz of the Labor Party said that “the looming accords with the Palestinians, not surprisingly, are merely a façade. It is not of any real consequence, and has more holes than substance. It is only the very beginning, and I don’t believe any headway will be made in respect to the core issues”. MK Ran Cohen (Meretz-Yahad) added, “this is a grave turn of events if these reports are indeed true. “There can be no peace accord without an agreement on Jerusalem. Postponing talks on Jerusalem can only lead to disaster and more wars.”