Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni last week concluded an unofficial agreement to hand over control of the Atarot Airport in the Atarot Industrial Zone of northern Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, according to local Jerusalem newspaper Kol Hazman.
Citing "senior Foreign Ministry sources," the report indicated that Livni and the Olmert government are ready to let the Palestinian Authority integrate the Atarot Airport into the greater Ramallah area in yet another effort to bolster Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' regime against rival Hamas.
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski pointed out the obvious security risk in surrendering the Atarot Airport, which Palestinian terrorists are likely to use as a base for aerial attacks on the Israeli capital.
Lupolianski vowed to accelerate his plan to build 10,000 more Jewish units in Atarot to thwart the government's intentions in the area.
Both Livni's and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offices refused to answer questions from Israel National News regarding the original report, insisting that the contents of behind-the-scenes talks with the Palestinian Authority need to remain secret.
Israeli legal groups, however, have filed suit against the government for violating Israel's Basic Law by entering into negotiations aimed at dividing Jerusalem. The city's unity is guaranteed by Israeli law, which can only be altered by a special majority in the Knesset.
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