Arafat asks US to block Jewish settlement
Patrick Cockburn is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent. He was awarded Foreign Commentator of the Year at the 2013 Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards.
Tuesday 04 March 1997
Declaring that "not one single house should be added", Mr Arafat looked for support from Mr Clinton and Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State, during his four-day visit to America. He said part of Jerusalem "was Arab, is Arab, will remain Arab and eventually will become capital of Palestine".
In east Jerusalem, shops were closed and there was little traffic in West Bank cities under Palestinian control. Palestinian police stopped motorists and asked them to go home. There were no reports of clashes, mainly because Mr Arafat and his security services are determined to prevent a confrontation with Israel now.
While he is genuine in his dismay at Israel's move to tighten its grip on Jerusalem, Mr Arafat is also milking the decision to build a settlement for 26,000 Jews at Har Homa, called Jabal Abu Ghneim by Palestinians, for all the diplomatic advantage that he can.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has lost much of the international credit he won after the partial Israeli withdrawal from Hebron because of the decision.
On a visit to a Palestinian district in Jerusalem yesterday Mr Netanyahu tried to reassure residents that they would get better infrastructure. He said: "We are serious about it. It's not a ploy. We're not playing games. We think it is our responsibility to treat its [Jerusalem's] Arab and Jewish residents alike."
Meanwhile, Israeli officials revealed that Yitzhak Mordechai, the Defence Minister, was pushing a plan to build 1,500 housing units for Jews and 3,000 hotel rooms which would link the Maaleh Adumim settlement with Jewish enclaves north of the city.
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They pride themselves that they...
£19000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This pharmacy group are looking...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This design and print company a...
£38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...