Palestinians reject Western Wall decision

Ramallah: A Palestinian official on Saturday rejected a call by a US official for the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem to remain under Israeli control. “The Palestinians will not accept any changes to the 1967 border of East Jerusalem,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a top official in the Palestinian government, was quoted as saying by the official WAF Anews agency. “This American position proves once again that the current US administration is completely out of the peace process,” he said, adding that it would “consolidate the occupation.”
The US official said the wall would stay under Israeli control even after an eventual peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians
“We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel,” a senior Trump administration official told reporters ahead of a trip to the region by Vice-President Mike Pence.
The wall, the remains of the Western Wall of the Second Temple, is a sacred site to many Jews and the area is part of the larger zone that is the focal point of the religious tensions in Jerusalem known as the Temple Mount to Jews and Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.
Pence is to travel to Egypt, Israel and Germany beginning on Tuesday.
A Palestinian man who lost his legs to an Israeli air strike nine years ago was buried on Saturday after being shot dead by Israeli security forces during a protest the previous day against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, 29, was buried in Gaza. He was one of four Palestinians killed during Friday’s protests, while dozens were injured as unrest spread into a second week.
One of the dead was shot after stabbing an Israeli officer.
An Israeli military official said the events around Abu Thuraya’s death were being investigated, as Palestinian health officials insisted the man could not have presented a threat.
Trump announced two weeks ago that he would recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the US Embassy to the contested city, sparking protests around the world.
Islamic nations this week, in a counter move, recognised East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
There are also plans to have Palestine recognised as a full state by the UN, and Turkey wants the UN Security Council to denounce the US.
The militant Hamas movement, which rules Gaza, has been more hard-line.
“Jerusalem is Islamic and Arab and Hamas makes no compromise on Jerusalem,” said Ismail Redwan, a leader with the movement, which Israel, the US and Europe see as a terrorist organisation.  — dpa