Skip To Content
Breaking News

Report: Abbas Would Support Deal That Keeps Kotel Under Israel’s Control

Mahmoud Abbas offered the Western Wall and Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter to remain under Israel’s control as part of a peace settlement, an Arabic newspaper reported.

The Palestinian Authority president made the offer as part of a written proposal to U.S. Mideast negotiator George Mitchell, the London-based Al-Hayat reported over the weekend.

The proposal reportedly also included forming an independent Palestinian state on land along the 1967 borders with land swaps of about 2.3 percent in order to encompass some West Bank settlement blocs. The rest of the Old City would be the capital of the Palestinian state but open to all faiths, according to the report.

Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday during an interview with Israel Radio that Abbas did not make such an offer.

Meanwhile, Israel’s defense minister and the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister discussed coordination between Israel and the Palestinians at a meeting in Jerusalem. Ehud Barak and Salam Fayyad had a public handshake following Monday’s meeting at the King David Hotel.

They talked about Palestinian Authority activity in preparing the Gaza Strip crossings for the expanded supply of civilian goods to Gaza, according to Barak’s office. Barak and Fayyad also discussed continuing security and economic coordination in the West Bank, as well as coordination on joint Israel-Palestinian Authority projects.

The leaders agreed to maintain the direct link between the Defense Ministry and Fayyad’s office in order to increase cooperation and provide a rapid response when necessary, according to Barak’s office.

Palestinian groups including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian slammed the meeting.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.