Abbas: Israel purging Jerusalem Arabs


Israel is conducting an “ethnic cleansing” campaign in Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas alleged.

The Palestinian Authority president said Thursday that his compatriots in east Jerusalem “face an ethnic cleansing campaign through a set of Israeli decisions such as imposing heavy taxes, banning construction and closing Palestinian institutions in addition to separating the city from the West Bank with the racist separation wall.”

Abbas was speaking at a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Dakar, Senegal. Most of the 57 nations in the organization do not recognize the Jewish state or its historic claims on Jerusalem.

Israel is pursuing peace talks with Abbas, who wants east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has made clear that Jerusalem’s status is not up for discussion at this stage.

Abbas said that Israel’s policies in Jerusalem – some of which are security measures imposed in response to Palestinian terrorist attacks – are in “total violation” of the peace negotiations.

Jerusalem officials condemned Abbas’ speech as inflammatory.

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