Vice Premier Haim Ramon responded on Sunday to U.S. criticism of plans to build additional homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood by saying parts of the city must be given to the Palestinians to avoid losing U.S. support.
Ramon said Israel would not give up the Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa, where the building plan announced last week sparked Palestinian anger and a warning from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that it risked harming a peace process she helped relaunch last month at the Annapolis conference.
The vice premier said, however, that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s opponents were being unrealistic in hoping for U.S. support for any peace plan that would give Israel all the present Jerusalem municipality, including all of East Jerusalem, as its capital.
Ramon told Army Radio that he is “convinced that all Jewish neighborhoods, including Har Homa, should be under Israeli sovereignty and the Arab neighborhoods should not be under Israeli sovereignty because they pose a threat to Jerusalem being the capital of Jewish Israel. [complete article]