9/20/2007 www.virtualjerusalem.com - Most Read Articles By Aaron Klein, JEWISHPRESS.COM Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Egyptian government that the Jewish state is willing to forfeit control over the Temple Mount - Judaism?s holiest site ? to the management of Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, according to an Arab media report. The Egyptian Al Massrioun daily reported this weekend that Barak informed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Jordanian government that Israel is willing to hand them joint control over the Temple Mount - in place of the PA alone - as this would help ease Israeli domestic opposition to giving up the holy site. (Egypt and Jordan are considered by Israeli policy to be moderate countries.) The report follows an exclusive story in this column last week that Palestinian negotiators drafting an agreement behind the scenes with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office made it clear that they would not accept any final peace deal with Israel unless the Jewish state forfeits the Temple Mount. Ronen Moshe, a spokesman for Barak, claims the Egyptian media report is "untrue." "We do not comment on the specifics of private conversations with world leaders, but this report is not what was said during the talks," Moshe told WorldNetDaily. A senior Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told WND that Israel "understands there won?t be any deal with the Palestinians unless it forfeits the Temple Mount." The official said the Mount was previously a sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but he said that Olmert's government has expressed a willingness to compromise on the Temple Mount.
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