Accessibility links

Palestinian PM Stakes Claim for East Jerusalem During Infrastructure Ceremony

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, right, looks through a window into a classroom as he visits a school in the West Bank village of Dahiat Al-Barid on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says part of Israeli-controlled East Jerusalem will be the cornerstone of a future Palestinian state.

He commented Tuesday during a dedication ceremony for East Jerusalem infrastructure projects and schools that Palestinians say they are helping to refurbish. Fayyad said Jerusalem suburbs are part of Palestinian land and belong to Palestinians.

Palestinian officials say the Palestinian Authority has set aside millions of dollars to renovate at last 14 schools in East Jerusalem, which is part of territory captured and annexed by Israel during the 1967 Mideast War.

The Associated Press quotes Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev as saying Palestinian government activity is not permitted in East Jerusalem.

Fayyad spoke at a school that is in a Palestinian area of East Jerusalem after Israeli officials barred him from inaugurating another project in an Israeli-occupied part of the city.

Meanwhile, Israeli human rights groups have accused the country's internal security service of abusing Palestinian detainees.

A report issued Tuesday by B'Tselem and Hamoked says Israel's Shin Bet violated Israeli law by keeping Palestinian prisoners in cramped, filthy cells without windows and disrupting their sleep.

It also says Israeli agents strapped detainees to chairs for long periods of time, refused to let them change into clean clothes and used insults as well as threats of violence.

The rights groups say their report is based on the accounts of 121 Palestinians held at a detention center in the city of Petah Tikvah in 2009.

Israel's Justice Ministry denies the allegations in the report. The ministry says all interrogations were done in accordance with Israeli law with the aim of preventing attacks on Israelis.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.