The Olmert government is postponing talks with the Palestinians about the future status of Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who relaunched peace negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in November, said Monday that one of the central issues was not being tackled for now.
“The issue of Jerusalem is very sensitive,” Olmert told his Kadima faction. “It is better to begin with issues that we have a chance of reaching understandings over than to begin with issues that encounter intense opposition at the outset.”
The Palestinians want east Jerusalem, including the Old City and its Temple Mount, as the capital of their future state. Any talk of such a handover would be fiercely opposed by right-wing Israelis and shake up Olmert’s broad coalition government.