“Beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.” (Psalms 48:2)
The Palestinian Authority’s Religious Affairs Minister is now demanding that the Western Wall in Jerusalem must be brought under Palestinian control in any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
In an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 News, Minister Mahmoud al-Habash said that “every inch” of territory Israel captured during the 1967 Six Day War must be returned to the Palestinians, including one of Judaism’s holiest sites.
“Every piece of land Israel occupied in 1967 belongs to the Palestinian state,” al-Habash explained. “The Buraq Wall [Western Wall] too will be under Palestinian sovereignty.”
When asked about freedom of worship at the Western Wall, al-Habash answered that all Jewish worshipers would be allowed to pray at the wall. “No problem,” he said. “There will be no restrictions on freedom of religion.”
The newest demand of the Palestinian Authority comes in the wake of increased terrorism and violence towards Israel over the last several weeks. Just last week, Palestinian rioters attacked and stoned Israeli police at the Temple Mount.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians appear to be taking a nosedive with Mahmoud Abbas refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. Abbas recently told The New York Times that “The Palestinians will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stood firm in his demand that the Palestinian Authority legitimize Israel’s right to exist.
Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, confirmed on Monday that the U.S. brokered peace talks are at a complete standstill. Speaking on Radio Sawa from Ramallah, Erekat announced that the current round of negotiations will not be extended beyond April. He also affirmed the PA position that Israel would never be recognized as a Jewish state.