Palestinians will be granted sovereignty over several East Jerusalem neighborhoods under the backchannel Mideast peace plan known as the “Deal of the Century”, Israel HaYom, an Israeli daily, reported Friday.
Israel, however, would maintain control over a number of large West Bank settlement blocs, according to the newspaper.
East Jerusalem districts to be ceded to the Palestinians would reportedly include Jabel Mukaber, Sawahira, Umm Tuba and Sur Baher.
Israel, meanwhile, would maintain control over at least 12 major settlements in East Jerusalem, according to Israeli HaYom.
Regarding Jerusalem’s Old City, the newspaper said that the peace plan would leave Israel in full control of the Old City, while Palestinians would be allowed to participate in some aspects of local administration.
The plan would also reportedly grant the Palestinians a degree of “functional sovereignty” over Jerusalem’s Old City -- in which the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located -- and some surrounding districts.
“The term ‘functional sovereignty’ as used in the plan grants certain authority [to the Palestinians], but supreme sovereignty will remain in Israel's hands,” the paper reports.
It adds: “So-called ‘functional sovereignty’… includes Palestinian participation in administrative affairs, such as sanitation, road maintenance, urban planning, public transport, economy and civilian police.”
Israel would also reportedly maintain sovereignty over the flashpoint Buraq Wall -- known by Jews as the “Western Wall” -- and all underground passages leading to it.
Under the plan, responsibility for supervising the Al-Aqsa Mosque would be given to an administrative body including Jordanian, Saudi, Moroccan and Palestinian representatives.
The U.S. administration has repeatedly warned against “unfounded speculation” about the “Deal of the Century”.
Nevertheless, some observers fear that Palestinian refugees will be asked to concede their right to return to historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
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Writing by Mahmoud Barakat