Egyptian authorities have resumed building a steel wall on the Sinai-Gaza border yesterday, after work was put on hold for three days as Palestinian snipers targeted construction equipment. In a related development, Egypt has proposed making Jerusalem an "open capital."
Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit affirmed that Egypt and other Arab states will accept nothing less than all Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967. Abul Gheit also said that Egypt thinks Jerusalem could become open to both Palestinians and Israelis, with no separation walls, such that Palestinians are given authority and sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem and Israelis over western Jerusalem.
In statements to Egyptian journalists on the sidelines of his visit to Washington, Abul Gheit said that the Americans listened attentively to the Egyptian proposition to make Jerusalem an open capital. Abul Gheit also suggested that initial negotiations could focus on the demarcation of borders.
Meanwhile, Esam Erian, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau, said that Hamas was not responsible for killing the Egyptian soldier who was shot on 6 January during clashes between the Egyptian military and Palestinians protesting the border wall and the Egyptian government’s delay of a Gaza-bound aid convoy.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.