Israel's leader does not want to share Jerusalem
Israel's leader on Sunday dismissed a call from a key government partner to share the holy city of Jerusalem with the Palestinians, a reminder of the obstacles facing already troubled peacemaking efforts.
Conflicting claims to east Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The dispute over the area, home to sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites, has derailed past peace talks and spilled into violence. Palestinians claim the sector as the capital of their future state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reaffirmation of his intention to hold on to east Jerusalem drew criticism from the Palestinians and was likely to increase friction with the Americans. The White House Mideast envoy is scheduled to arrive this week in another attempt to push peace efforts forward.
And it didn't take long for the predictable response:
Palestinians blasted Israel's rejection of their claim to east Jerusalem.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Sunday urged the U.S. to come up with a new formula to push the process forward.
Then there is this stark reality:
Since Netanyahu came to power nearly two years ago, Israelis and Palestinians have not been close to tackling major issues. Netanyahu's more moderate predecessor offered a Palestinian state with joint control of key Jerusalem holy sites among other features, but the Palestinians did not accept it.
Washington's special envoy to the Mideast, George Mitchell, is expected to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week.
As mentioned so many times in the past - the whole deal always ends up being about Jerusalem. The fate of Jerusalem. Exactly as biblical prophecy informed us.