Arafat Vows To Resist Israeli ‘Fait Accompli’ In Jerusalem With PM-OAU-Summit
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) _ PLO leader Yasser Arafat said today he would fight any attempt by Israel to change the demographic makeup of Arab east Jerusalem by building more Jewish settlements.
He also reiterated that east Jerusalem would eventually be the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
″The government of Israel is trying with statements, measures and positions to impose a fait accompli on an issue that affects the emotions not only of the Palestinian people, but also all Arabs, Muslims and Christians,″ Arafat said at a summit of the Organization of African Unity.
Building more Jewish settlements amounts to imposing ″a final settlement″ on east Jerusalem’s future, despite an agreement with the PLO to leave the issue for future negotiations.
″This is a violation of what we have agreed upon that there should be no pre-emptive decisions on the issues,″ Arafat told heads of state and representatives of 52 African nations.
″We will not allow ... change in the demographic character of the Holy City, sacred to all divine religion,″ he said.
Foreign ministers attending the summit crafted a draft resolution Sunday calling on Israel to refrain from building settlements in the city.
The resolution declares Israel’s 1967 annexation of east Jerusalem ″null and void″ and calls on the Jewish state to pull out of the area. It was expected to be passed by the summit.
As part of their peace accord, the PLO and Israel agreed that after two years of Palestinian autonomy in the Gaza Strip and West Bank town of Jericho, they would negotiate a permanent settlement that includes the final status of Jerusalem.