Ofer Shelah, member of the Yesh Atid party in Israel, estimates that a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians is only possible with East Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian state.
Shelah said that, "I do not see any possible settlement that does not grant the Palestinians proclamation of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state," as reported by Haaretz. Yesh Atid is led by Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
Shelah made his remarks yesterday at a conference organized by the Peace Now movement in Tel Aviv. He explained: "The solution of the Jerusalem issue will be a complex one. It will be based on words as well as actions. You cannot simply build a wall on the land and say this belongs to us and that belongs to them (Palestinians)". Shelah expected that the issue of Jerusalem would be the last issue to be discussed by the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
Haaretz pointed out that Shelah's statements largely contradict with the principles of negotiations announced by the Yesh Atid party during their election campaign. The "Yesh Atid" electoral program states that Jerusalem should remain "united under Israeli sovereignty. Jerusalem is not just a place or a city. It is a symbol of the Israeli Jewish people. It is the holy place Jews have aspired to over generations".