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Saudi offers Abu Dis as future capital of Palestine

December 6, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Crown Prince and Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 26 November 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Anadolu Agency]

A Saudi proposal for a peace initiative between Israelis and Palestinians offers the village of Abu Dis as the future capital of Palestine instead of East Jerusalem, stirring widespread anger.

Activists have released a new hashtag under the name “Jerusalem is our capital” in response to the Saudi proposal.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman made the proposal during Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to Riyadh last month.

According to the proposal, the Palestinians will get a non-contiguous state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over which they will have only partial sovereignty while the majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank will remain. The proposal does not grant Palestinian refugees and their descendants living in other countries the right of return to Israel.

According to the paper, Saudi Arabia gave Abbas two months to respond to the offer.

Abu Dis is a Palestinian town near occupied East Jerusalem. According to the Oslo Accords it is classified as Area B which is administered by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

US President Donald Trump is expected to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion the relocation of the US Embassy to the international city today, a decision that upends decades of US policy and risks fuelling violence in the Middle East.

Read: The Arab pressure on the Palestinian leadership