Australia Reverses Recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
A man holds a Palestinian flag as President Mahmoud Abbas waves the Israeli flag and walks to the Israeli Embassy.
Photo: Reuters/Thaer Al-Naamani
The Palestinians will not recognize the State of Israel if it includes the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said during his first visit to Israel since taking office in January.
“Palestinians do not recognize the Zionist entity until the whole of Jerusalem and the whole of the occupied Palestinian land are in its hands,” Abbas told an audience of Israeli and Palestinian officials in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
Palestinians have asked world powers for a united Jerusalem as their capital. Israeli President Moshe Katzir said in October that the city would be Israel’s capital throughout its existence because it is the only sovereign state in the Middle East that possesses it.
The Palestinians, who seized large parts of Jerusalem during several bloody Arab-Israeli wars and the 1967 battle of Six-Day War, have not received their own capital city.
A joint statement from the Palestinian Authority and Israel said West Bank residents would not be able to vote in the Palestinian parliament and would not have a government-sponsored media or military.
Abbas said the Palestinian Authority was preparing a budget and was building roads and bridges in the Palestinian territory which the Israeli government said belong to it.
“The Israelis will not allow the Palestinian Authority to build in the [West Bank] except as it is necessary. Until it is necessary, we will not do it. We will not give an inch to Israel. Israel has no right to be there by itself,” he said.
Abbas made the first visit to Israel by a Palestinian leader since Israel took control of Jerusalem in 1967. The visit came a day after Palestinians said Israel has given up control of Palestinian access to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the Mount, or al-Haram al-Sharif in Arabic.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who visited Israel on Tuesday, said that if Jerusalem