Senior Palestinian Official: 'Obviously' Western Wall Should Remain Under Israeli Control

But 'The Temple Mount is ours, not yours,' Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub says on Israeli TV

Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub, May 2017.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior official in the Palestinian Authority, has said that the Western Wall should remain under Israeli sovereignty.

We understand that the wall he [U.S. President Donald Trump] visited is sacred to the Jews and ultimately it has to remain under Jewish sovereignty, Rajoub said on Channel 2s "Meet the Press."

"There is no argument over this. Obviously, its a holy place for Jews," he added.

Rajoub linked sovereignty over the Western Wall to sovereignty over the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is ours, not yours, and I think you should stop talking as if its yours. Thats the status quo since 1967, as established by [Israeli general] Moshe Dayan, and we both have to strive for that. If you want to create an explosion just say its ours, its ours, he said.

The issue of sovereignty at the Western Wall came up around Trumps visit there last month, a first by a sitting U.S. president. Ahead of the visit, staff at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem refused to discuss media arrangements with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus bureau, arguing that Israel has no authority there. The White House later dissociated itself from these comments.Later, Trumps National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was evasive when asked whether the Western Wall is part of Israel.

In his interview on Israeli TV, Rajoub talked about Trumps meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Were waiting for a Trump initiative, were ready, he said. Trump is an opportunity for us and for the Israelis. He comes with clear objectives to make an ultimate deal and end the suffering of both peoples. I call on Israelis and tell them: Guys, its time to draw the correct conclusions, lets do business.

Regarding the U.S. administrations decision to defer the transfer of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Rajoub said: I think its a message to both sides. It signals to the Israeli right that hes not in their pocket, and to us it signals that there is hope and that he intends to make the deal hes aiming for.