Palestinian Authority official says Western Wall belongs to Jews


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A top Palestinian Authority official said the Western Wall should remain under Jewish sovereignty but that the Temple Mount belongs to the Palestinian.

“We understand that the wall [U.S. President Donald Trump] visited is sacred to the Jews and ultimately it has to remain under Jewish sovereignty. There is no argument over this. Obviously, it’s a holy place for Jews,” Jibril Rajoub said Saturday evening on the Israeli news magazine Channel 2’s “Meet the Press.”

He added, however: “The Temple Mount is ours, not yours, and I think you should stop talking as if it’s yours. That’s the status quo since 1967, as established by Moshe Dayan, and we both have to strive for that. If you want to create an explosion just keep saying ‘it’s ours, it’s ours.’”

Rajoub, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, is also head of the Palestinian Football Association. Fatah is the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas slammed Rajoub for his comments, saying in a statement that he  sent “a clear message to the occupation, officially ceding a holy, national, and historic place,” the Palestinian Maan news agency reported

In a Facebook posting after the interview, Rajoub emphasized that he did not mean “Israeli” sovereignty.

During the interview, Rajoub also said that Trump, presents “an opportunity” for both for the Palestinians and the Israelis.

“He comes with clear intentions for an ultimate deal to end the suffering of both peoples. I think this is an unprecedented initative,” he said.

He asserted that Israel has a “partner for peace on the Palestinian side” and that “we need to do it today and not tomorrow.”

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