Letter: Jerusalem looks like this

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The Independent Online
When Suzanne Glass writes in her article about Benjamin Netanyahu of the "tunnel trauma", she claims that he decided "to make a new opening in the Arab Quarter". ("Confessions of a troubled man", Review, 27 July). There is no Arab Quarter in Jerusalem. The Old City is divided into Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim Quarters. She also says that "previously tourists had entered the tunnel in Jewish West Jerusalem". Tourists enter the tunnel at the northern end of the Western Wall which is located within the walls of the Old City at the foot of the Haram al Sharif in what has been part of the Jewish Quarter since the Mugrabi quarter (established in 1320 to serve the needs of North African Muslim pilgrims) was bulldozed in 1967 to make room for the plaza encompassing the wall and its approaches.

She also says that Har Homa settlement is in an area "not covered by the Oslo accords". Har Homa is being built on land a large part of which has been illegally confiscated from the towns of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala, both large West Bank municipalities under PNA jurisdiction. To refer to Har Homa as part of Jerusalem is to ignore these expropriations and to accept the Israeli concept of a "Greater Jerusalem" which stretches from the gates of Ramallah to Bethlehem. This definition of Jerusalem is highly contentious and a major issue within the Oslo accords. So, incidentally, is building within East Jerusalem before a final settlement is reached.

Finally Glass's assertion that the Palestinians have failed "to renounce the old PLO commitment to destroy the state of Israel" is also incorrect.

Glenn Bowman

University of Kent, Canterbury