Towards Final Status
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Jerusalem
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1 - Jerusalem Under Oslo
2 - Background
3 - The Israeli Position
4 - The Palestinian Position
5 - During the Interim Period
6 - Proposals


5 - During the Interim Period

Despite an agreement to postpone discussions on Jerusalem to the final status negotiations, Jerusalem has been a constant source of discord throughout the interim period. Both Israelis and Palestinians have accused each other of acts which violate the Oslo Accords guidelines for Jerusalem.

The Israeli Government has consistently accused the Palestinian Authority of surreptitiously expanding its presence in Jerusalem. While the Oslo agreements limit operations of the Palestinian Authority to areas under its jurisdiction, successive Israeli Governments have complained of PA institutions setting up new offices throughout Jerusalem. Of greatest notoriety is Orient House, a century-old stone building in eastern Jerusalem, which operates as the PA's address in Jerusalem.

Palestinians have accused Israel of attempting to prejudice the final status negotiations by extending their presence in the eastern part of the city. Palestinians publicly, and violently, protested two Israeli actions. In September 1996, the Palestinian leadership accused Israel of harming Muslim holy sites in the Old City with the opening of a new exit to a Hasmonean tunnel. In March 1997, Palestinians rallied international opposition to an Israeli building project, Har Homa, in the southern part of Jerusalem.

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