Top 5 issues on the table for Israeli-Palestinian talks

By , Contributor

3. Jerusalem

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    With the Dome of the Rock Mosque seen in the background, a Palestinian Muslim worshiper pours cold water on her head to cool off as the temperature rises during the third Friday prayers of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Aug. 27.
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The Palestinians insist on having the capital of a future Palestinian state in East Jerusalem. But many Israelis – including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – are opposed to any partition of the city, which includes many Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holy sites.

From 1949 to 1967, East Jerusalem was under Jordanian control. After capturing East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, Israel annexed it – expanding it significantly – and declared Jerusalem its “undivided and eternal” capital.

Since then, the Palestinian population has quadrupled, reducing the Jewish majority in Jerusalem as a whole to 65 percent. In a bid to cement Israeli sovereignty, some 2,000 Jews have moved into strategic locations around the Old City, while rapidly expanding communities elsewhere in East Jerusalem have brought the total number of Jews there to nearly 200,000.

Palestinians say such expansions threaten their plans for a capital in East Jerusalem.

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