Israeli Paper: " Israel to hand Qalandia airport near East Jerusalem to the PA"
author Friday April 11, 2008 17:01author by Manar Jibrin - IMEMC News
A local Israeli newspaper calling itself "Kol Hazman" reported on Friday that Israel will hand over the Palestinian airport of Qalandia, located in the north of East Jerusalem, to the Palestinian Authority.
The Newspaper quoted senior Israeli sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying that the Palestinians and the Israelis had reached this agreement during secret talks between Ztipi Livni, Israeli Foreign Minister and Ahmad Qurie', a Palestinian senior negotiator.
It added that Israel is looking forward to empower the Palestinian moderate side in the West Bank after Hamas took power over the Gaza Strip last June.
Media advisor to the Israeli Foreign Minister refused to either reject or affirm this report, and said that the two sides [the Israelis and the Palestinians] had agreed on keeping the secrecy of the recent ongoing negotiations.
Meanwhile, Uri Lupolianski, the Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem, expressed his shock over this report. Close sources to Lupolianski stated that he will intensify the efforts to construct a large Israeli-only residential neighborhood in the area to abort the plan of handing over the airport to the Palestinians.
The airport of Qalandia was constructed and used by the Jordanian authorities during the Jordanian ruling of the West Bank and East Jerusalem before the 1967 War during which the Israeli army had occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
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