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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

PLO, Israel Meet in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM -- Israeli and PLO negotiators met in Jerusalem, the city at the heart of their conflict, for the first time Monday, officials on both sides said.

On the record, officials denied any significance to the venue for meetings of four joint subcommittees on economic cooperation.

But Palestinian sources hailed the move as an Israeli admission that the status of the city holy to Moslems, Christians and Jews was still to be determined.

"This means that Israel has accepted the debate that the status is still to be negotiated," said one Palestinian source.

Earlier Monday, PLO head Yasser Arafat demanded that talks on the fate of the holy city begin immediately and not merely within two years as set out in Israel's 10-month-old interim peace deal with the PLO.

Arafat said negotiations had to be accelerated in the face of an agreement last week in Washington in which Israel recognized Jordan's role in Jerusalem's Islamic shrines.

The move incensed the Palestinians.