Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told a delegation on Saturday that there will be “no peace between us and Israel” without eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state, the Ma’an news agency reported. Speaking to a delegation from Jerusalem in his office in Ramallah, Abbas highlighted that the Arab Follow-up Committee would reiterate this stance during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday. “He will be told that occupied East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine, and without this there will be no peace between us and Israel,” Abbas declared.
The current round of negotiations has been limited to nine months after which “we are free to do whatever we want,” he said, highlighting that, “the time frame is limited and not open, and our unanimous position isn’t secret.” Abbas added that he heard that the Israelis had refused to mention Jerusalem in any talks or negotiations. “Let them say whatever they say. Unless it is mentioned clearly and marked in big fonts that it is the capital of the state of Palestine, there will be no peace with them and I want them to hear this,” he declared, according to Ma’an. On Friday it was reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had announced to senior officials in his government that he won’t agree to any division of Jerusalem in framework agreements. Sources previously revealed that Kerry’s proposals would divide the capital under international management. Netanyahu has claimed he won’t sign any document which in any way allows the establishment of a PA capital in Jerusalem, no matter the price to peace talks, according to Haaretz reports Friday morning. Responding to this, Abbas told the visitors, “Our language is understandable. We have been hearing lots of talks about the capital here and there. The capital is Jerusalem and its surroundings in Jerusalem which were occupied in 1967.” More