Monday, February 11, 2008


PA official reports progress over Jerusalem in secret talks (JPost)A senior PA official in Ramallah told the Jerusalem Post on Saturday that the Palestinian negotiating team headed by former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei had been holding secret talks with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and other government officials in the past few weeks.

A spokesperson from Livni's office said that he was "not allowed to respond to anything going on in the [negotiating] room."

"The main progress has been achieved during the secret talks, particularly on the issue of Jerusalem. Today we can say that Israel is prepared to withdraw from almost all the Arab neighborhoods and villages in Jerusalem. Israel is prepared to redivide Jerusalem and this is a positive development," the Ramallah official said.

Post's J'lem story may topple gov't (JPost)
Shas chairman Eli Yishai indicated on Monday that his party's days in the government were numbered, due to The Jerusalem Post's story that the Palestinian and Israeli negotiating teams were conducting secret talks on the future of Jerusalem.

Yishai told reporters who attended his faction's weekly meeting that he would speak about the story in Sunday's paper with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

He had not spoken to either one by press time and the Olmert associates he did reach downplayed the report.

"I will check the story and if it's true, Shas will leave the government," Yishai told the Post.

Yishai also issued a new threat that any diplomatic progress on any issue while Kassams fall on Sderot could lead to the party's departure from the coalition. Yishai escalated his warning beyond previous threats, which focused solely on Jerusalem.

But Yishai's threat to leave over the Post story was seen as more serious, because it applied to negotiations that have already taken place, while the new threat deals with potential future talks.

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