A prominent official of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) assured an international Christian audience this week that Muslims and Christians will work closely together in the emerging Palestinian state.

Faisal Husseini, a member of Yasser Arafat's inner circle who is responsible for the "Jerusalem file" in the PNA, said Wednesday that "Unless Christians and Muslims are together, Palestine is not Palestine. Unless Christians and Muslims work together, peace will not be peace. And unless Jews work with Christians and Muslims, Jerusalem will not be Jerusalem."Speaking at the opening session of the third international conference of the Sabeel Liberation Theology organization, Husseini responded to rumors that the relatively small Christian community in Palestine was already experiencing prejudice from within the Muslim-dominated PNA.

Both Christian and Muslim leaders claim that the original source of the rumors is a high-level Israeli who wants to sow seeds of discontent, especially in Bethlehem.