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France suggests sharing Jerusalem

PARIS (JTA) — The French government envisions a shared Jerusalem and compensation for Palestinian refugees as part of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

On Thursday, a French working document of proposals for Middle East peace was revealed by the French daily Le Figaro. The document was originally presented at a Dec. 2 meeting of European Union foreign ministers. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier confirmed that the plan suggests making Jerusalem an "open capital," according to Le Figaro.

Such a deal would involve a two-headed administrative capital with an international "liaison committee" to help administer water and electricity infrastructure questions in the Palestinian areas of eastern Jerusalem. An international-run security escort service to religious sites was suggested to maintain security.

On a visit to France this week, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Likud Party and candidate for prime minister, said "Jerusalem will always be the capital of Israel" and Israel "will never go back to pre-’67 borders."

He also said Palestinian refugees should not have any type of right to return to Israel.

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