Portuguese / Spanish / English

Clinton: Israel was willing to give up Temple Mount to the Palestinians at Camp David

Former US President Bill Clinton has revealed that during the Camp David negotiations, which took place in 2000 between then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and then-Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Israel had expressed its willingness to hand over control of Al-Aqsa Mosque to the Palestinians in return for Israeli control over the Western Wall and Jewish neighbourhoods, as well as the tunnels underneath.

Showing his bias for the Israeli side, Clinton concurred with the Israeli claim that Arafat was inflexible in his positions during the negotiations, never agreeing to what was proposed.

During a speech on Thursday at Georgetown University, Clinton described how Barak offered the Palestinians Al-Aqsa Mosque in return for Israeli control of the Western Wall. Arafat agreed to this proposal but insisted that the Palestinians keep a piece of land about 16-metres long leading to the entrance to the Western Wall tunnels. This was rejected by Israel under the pretext that the Western Wall is part of Jerusalem's Jewish heritage.

Clinton considered Israel's rejection to be justified on the grounds that Palestinian control of the tunnels creates the possibility of damaging the temple ruins underneath Al-Aqsa Mosque. "If you got in, you could do mayhem to the ruins of the temples," he said.

However, the former president did not admit to the possibility of Israel destroying Muslim sacred historical sites, acknowledging neither the past Israeli plots to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque, uncovered by Mossad, nor the excavations that presently undermine its foundations, not to mention the plans to build what Israelis call the "Third Temple" in its place.

Instead, Clinton adopted the Israeli narrative about the Camp David talks, saying that the Palestinians, under the leadership of Arafat, "never said yes" to any agreement, despite Barak's willingness to give up 96 per cent of the occupied West Bank.

Source: arabs48.com

Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
Show Comments
Writing Palestine - Celebrating the tenth year of the Palestine Book Awards - Buy your copy of the book now
Show Comments