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Status of Jerusalem may again scuttle peace talks

There is as yet no sign that the US-led Israeli-Palestinian talks have made any progress on Jerusalem.
Palestinians walk near an opening in Israel's controversial barrier in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of A-tur January 3, 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a gloomy assessment of peace prospects with the Palestinians on Thursday as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry began his 10th visit to the region in pursuit of a deal. Leaders from both sides have to address core issues of the decades-old conflict, such as the question of borders, security, refugees and the status of Jerusalem. RE

Ever since the current Palestinian-Israeli negotiations commenced, all the leaked information about the talks focused on borders and whether Israeli soldiers will be present in the Jordan Valley. Israel’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state received a lot of coverage. But while the Palestinian refugee issue received scant coverage, one topic was totally ignored: Jerusalem.

The US sponsors, along with the Israelis, might have thought that keeping Jerusalem out of the framework agreement would be the best way to avoid having the process blow up in their faces. Such an idea is clearly in violation of the agreement, reached at the start of the talks, that all permanent status issues are on the table and will be discussed.

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