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Tuesday, 15 August, 2000, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Palestinians warned against Israeli citizenship

The top Muslim cleric in Jerusalem has warned Palestinian residents of the city not to seek Israeli citizenship, saying it implied recognition of Israel's claims over the city.

The grand mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrima Sabri, said he was renewing a religious ruling fatwa made ten years ago banning Palestinians in east Jerusalem from accepting Israeli citizenship.

Israeli media reports today said the number of applications for citizenship had doubled in the past year to more than one-hundred and eighty. An Israeli interior ministry spokeswoman said that twelve-hundred Palestinians from east Jerusalem had been granted citizenship since it was captured by Israel in 1967.

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