Abbas: No recognition of Israel as Jewish state

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there is “no way” he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accept a Palestinian capital in just a portion of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, rebuffing what Palestinians fear will be key elements of a U.S. peace proposal.

Abbas’ comments signaled that the gaps between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain wide after seven months of mediation efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Abbas, whose remarks were published Friday by the Palestinian news agency WAFA, said he withstood international pressure in the past, when he sought U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine over Washington’s objections.

Speaking to youth activists of his Fatah party, he suggested he would stand firm again, particularly over the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

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