RAMALLAH Feb 18 (JMCC) - Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the coexistence that exists in Jerusalem, but told a conference held in the city that conditions are not yet ideal.
We do have here some coexistence, said Netanyahu. Not everything is rosy in Jerusalem, there is work to be done for the cultivation of East Jerusalem and there is a need to do more.”
The premier cited the history of the Zionist movement's dedication to the city. Jerusalem has been our capital for 3,000 years and it has never been the capital of any other people.
In Jerusalem there is freedom of movement and ritual, and this didn't
exist before. We want to deepen the coexistence in Jerusalem. This is
only possible as long as Jerusalem is not divided and does not
deteriorate into a place used for a violent struggle and terrorism.
This may be a distant vision, but it's possible.
Netanyahu went on to say that he supports the development of infrastructure for the Arab residents of East Jerusalem because that is under our responsibility.”
He was speaking at the annual International Jerusalem Conference.
Jerusalem - particularly its eastern Arab region - is the focus of an intense Israeli settlement effort seeking to gain control over the city before final status talks over its future.
Palestinians seek the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state, but are increasingly finding their presence in the city under threat. Overcrowding, poverty, inability to build and develop are all problems that plague the city's Palestinian minority.