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Salam Fayyad’s Jerusalem home

From Rhonda Spivak at the Winnipeg Jewish Review:

In exploring East Jerusalem recently, I was in Beit Hanina, an area in East Jerusalem, which has some relatively large homes.

I come upon a house watched over by a tall Palestinian security guard dressed in black, who would only say that he was guarding the house of someone ‘very important.’

It turns out that the house belongs to none other than Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who travels from there to his office in Ramallah everyday. Fayyad’s wife is a resident of Jerusalem. According to Ha’ aretz, neighbors reported that Fayyad has been living there full time only since last year after becoming the PA’s Prime Minister.

I contacted Danny Ben-Simon, director of the Israeli government press office to ask him whether Fayyad’s living in Beit Hanina undermines Israel’s claim of sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. He responded, “It is quite understood within the context of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, that there are going to be small ironies and this is one of them….in negotiations, everyone has opening positions. We [the Israelis] have our opening positions. We don’t expect all of our opening positions are ones that will be finally agreed upon…”

When contacted, Kadima Knesset member, Otniel Schneller, an orthodox Jew, said, “When there will be negotiations over Jerusalem…if [Beit Hanina] becomes a Palestinian state, then Fayyad will continue to live there, and if not, he can live under Israeli sovereignty and be the Prime Minister of a Palestinian state. On our side [Israel’s], there is no apartheid.”

Full story here.

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