Ehud Olmert hinted that he would be willing to give up eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods in a peace deal.
During a speech Monday at the Knesset, Israel’s prime minister questioned whether it had been necessary to annex Palestinian villages to Jerusalem when the city map of Jerusalem was approved on July 27, 1967.
“It is thanks to that decision that we now have wonderful and vibrant neighborhoods such as Ramot, French Hill, Ramat Eshkol, Givat Hamivtar, Pisgat Ze’ev, Armon Hanatziv, Har Homa and Gilo, not to mention the Jewish Quarter in the Old City,” Olmert said. “Was it necessary to also add the Shuafat refugee camp, Sawakra, Walaje and other villages and define them as part of Jerusalem? On that, I must confess, I am not convinced.”
Olmert was speaking at a special Knesset session to mark the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former government minister Rehavam Ze’evi, who drew up the 1967 map.
The prime minister’s mention of Jerusalem has caused a stir since the issue of Jerusalem will likely be on the table at next month’s peace conference in Annapolis, Md.