On Sunday March 24th, the first of a series of workshops bringing over 40 key policy makers, researchers and community activists on the issue of Jerusalem, was successfully conducted at Birzeit University. Entitled Towards a Palestinian Strategy For Jerusalem, the conference is sponsored by the Center for Research and Documentation of Palestinian Society. The workshops are designed to create an opportunity for internal debate amongst a wide array of activists, professionals and politicians and to yield a comprehensive and pragmatic approach for dealing with the multifaceted issue of Jerusalem.

Aside from laying the foundation and methodology for the entire conference the workshops on Sunday dealt specifically with clarifying the Israeli, European and American position towards Jerusalem. Among several of the presentations was a comprehensive analysis of Israel's ever expanding settlement and road policy given by renowned geographer Jan De Jong. Some of the many noted participants were Faisal Al-Husseini, Hanan Ashrawi, Ibrahim Abu Lughod and many others who contributed in dealing frankly with sculpting a feasible posture concerning future negotiations on Jerusalem. Sunday's workshops were also extremely successful in yielding critical debate among scholars and policy makers as to what the future frame work of dealing with Jerusalem should be. Apart from discussing political posturing, the participants also discussed the crucial need as well as a pragmatic way in which the wide scope of information on various aspects of Jerusalem can be coordinated.

The second of the three workshops was held on Friday, March 29th form 9:30am to 4:30pm on the third floor of the Administration Building of Birzeit University. The two workshops planned for this session were entitled The Arab Position Towards Jerusalem and A New Palestinian Discourse. The last of the three workshops is being held today, on Sunday March 31st and is focusing on a final formulation of a strategy for Jerusalem. The conference will conclude with a one day presentation of the results of the workshops on Sunday April 21st.

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