Livni: Western Wall Will Stay Under Israeli Sovereignty Forever

At Kotel Hanukkah ceremony, former chief negotiator with the Palestinians Tzipi Livni says Israeli rule over Jerusalem is expression of 'the historic link between a people and its land.'

Tali Meyer

Hatnuah Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said the Western Wall will always remain under Israeli sovereignty during a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony at the site on Sunday, which she held together with Labor head Isaac Herzog.

"Israeli sovereignty here [...] is the expression of the historic link between a people and its land" Livni said during the ceremony, evoking iconic memories of the IDF soldiers who took control of Jerusalem's Old City during the 1967 war."This holy place, this historical place, this place to which our deepest recesses are tied, will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever."

"Every time I'm at the Kotel," said Livni, "I see before my eyes the paratroopers who cried then, during the liberation of Jerusalem, their tears of excitement, of returning home. [...] Joy and excitement covered us all, like a tallit of happiness that enfolded every Jew in Israel and throughout the world."

PM: Israel won't abide to outside dictates

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would oppose the Palestinian resolution in the UN Security Council setting a deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

"We expect responsible elements in the international community to reject this proposal, but in any case we'll oppose it determinedly and of course, would not abide by any dictates," Netanyahu said at a Hanukkah ceremony he held will IDF troops at a base near Jerusalem.

Senior officials from the Palestinian Authority admitted over the weekend that they were under heavy pressure not to request a vote on the Palestinian resolution presented last week to the United Nations Security Council.

Despite previous Palestinian announcements that they would request such a vote immediately - even if the move would fail because of the inability to enlist nine votes or owing to an American veto - it transpires that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in no hurry to ask for such a vote, and it seems the matter will be postponed for a while, possibly for weeks.

A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz that despite the strident declarations in recent days, the idea now is to try and reach an agreement over the wording of the resolution, in particular with the Europeans, and only after that to request a vote in the Security Council - in order to guarantee a majority in favor of the resolution before a possible American veto.