Livni: Israelis agree that Gilo is theirs


JERUSALEM (JTA) — There is ‘Israeli consensus’ that the eastern Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Gilo belongs to Israel, opposition leader Tzipi Livni said.

"Beyond dealing with the immediate issue, this understanding is important for all discussions about permanent borders," Livni, head of the center Kadima Party, told French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in a meeting Wednesday in Jerusalem.

Kouchner, who is on a three-day mission to the region, condemned the Jerusalem municipality’s approval for the construction of 900 new apartments abutting the Gilo neighborhood, which would expand the borders of the Jerusalem community. He also called for Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks.

Also Wednesday, Kouchner met with the parents of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit amid rumors that he will be released in a prisoner exchange next week. Shalit holds dual Israeli and French citizenship.

Kouchner was scheduled to meet Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

On Tuesday he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat.

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