Bypassing Israel, French capital endorses unprecedented agreement with ‘East Jerusalem’

(French foreign minister Alain Jupp holds a press conference with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah, June 2, 2011 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/FLASH90)

France’s most populous administrative zone, encompassing the capital Paris, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestinian district of Jerusalem, a move organizers say is designed to send a “political message” of solidarity with the Palestinians and their aspirations for a future capital in the city.

The French region described the agreement as the “first of its kind.”

The decision is a blow to Israel’s claim that the eastern sector is part of its united capital. A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry said east Jerusalem “does not exist” as a separate entity and that the French council was “living in a make-believe world.”...

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