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Abbas to visiting Israeli students: Not seeking to redivide Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA)  — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Israeli students visiting him in Ramallah that he does not seek to redivide Jerusalem.

Abbas said Sunday that the capital of a Palestinian state could be located in eastern Jerusalem, and west Jerusalem would be controlled by Israel, and a higher  council could control movement between the two sides, Israeli media reported.

He also said that he would not be willing to share sovereignty over the Temple Mount, but would allow Jews to worship at the Kotel.

Abbas told the some 300 students, at the meeting organized by the  Lobby for the Promotion of a Solution for the Israeli-Arab Conflict and the One Voice organization, that he did not intend to flood Israel with Palestinian refugees and change its demographic character by demanding a right of return, according to reports.

He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could “turn to the United Nations” if he wanted recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and said that the new demand “places an obstacle in the way of peace,” according to Haaretz.

Abbas said that a deal signed with him will be honored by Hamas.

Meanwhile, on Saturday Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh asserted at a Gaza rally, according to PressTV, that a framework agreement to be presented to Israel and the Palestinians “is not binding for us.” He also said that the deal ” imposes the Zionist violation of the Palestinian land.”

“We will not concede a foot of Palestinian land or on a single right of the Palestinian people,” Haniyeh said.

Also, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Friday that his organization

would be as hostile to an international peace-keeping force such as NATO as it would to Israeli troops on a border between Israel and a Palestinian state.

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