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Israel-Palestine: The Golden Key to Proximity Talks? East Jerusalem (Yenidunya)

Soon after Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said, "It's time that [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] decides to sit with Israel and conduct real negotiations whilst Jerusalem is out of any talks and is Israel's eternal capital," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared that proximity talks would be launched in two weeks.

However, as Haaretz reported that there is a de facto freeze in the eastern sector of Jerusalem; Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat insisted that construction in East Jerusalem will continue. He continued:
We are going to build, we are not going to stop it, it's illegal to stop it. And we'll continue to do the best and the right thing for the city of Jerusalem.

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu’s “Gestures” After Talks with Mitchell (Yenidunya)

In this atmosphere, the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee will convene next Tuesday, its first gathering since it affected the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden with its approval of new building. It will discuss general plans and then consider a small number of housing units in the eastern part of the city, although it is yet unknown whether the units are meant for Arabs or Jews.

Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah II again warned,  ahead of a meeting this weekend of the Arab League in Cairo, that the situation in the Middle East could "explode" due to Israel's building of settlements in East Jerusalem. Abdullah had said two weeks ago:
If we hit the summer and there's no active [peace] process, there's a very good chance for conflict, and nobody wins when it comes to that.

On Saturday, the Arab League's Monitoring Committee for the Arab Peace Initiative is scheduled vote on US proposals of Washington. The League has already stated that there would be no approval of proximity talks if there was no freeze in East Jerusalem.

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