Jerusalem should be capital of two states, says top EU diplomat Federica
JERUSALEM: The European Union’s top diplomat Federica
Mogherini said on Saturday that Jerusalem “should be the capital of two states”,
as tensions gripped the holy city hit by Israeli-Palestinian violence.
“I think Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of
two states,” Mogherini told reporters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of
Ramallah, touching on a sensitive issue that has blocked peace efforts for
Her appeal, at a joint news conference with
Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, came hours after the killing of an
Arab-Israeli by police fanned tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
The shooting in northern Israel came after another
night of clashes in east Jerusalem between youths hurling stones and firecrackers
at police, who retaliated with rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.
The violence has spiked as Israel has pushed ahead
with its policy to build Jewish settlements on lands the Palestinians want for
a future state and against the background of efforts by Jewish extremists to
secure rights to pray at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque.
“Jerusalem is not just a beautiful city, the challenge
is to show that Jerusalem can be shared in peace and respect,” said Mogherini. “The
message is not for the people who live here, the message is to the rest of the
world. It is not a Palestinian-Israeli situation, it is a global issue,” she
On Friday, Mogherini met Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu who dismissed her criticism of Israeli settlement building
in annexed east Jerusalem and the West Bank. “Jerusalem is our capital and as
such is not a settlement,” he insisted.