Palestinians will never recognize Israel as ’Jewish state’, says Abbas

Palestinians will never recognize Israel as the “Jewish state,” president Mahmud Abbas said April 26, as his leadership convened to chart a course of action after Israel halted peace talks.

“In 1993 we recognized Israel,” Abbas told members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Central Council, adding that the Palestinians should not be forced to go a step further and recognize Israel’s religious identity.

Abbas also said the new unity government he is set to head with Hamas backing would reject violence and recognize Israel and existing agreements with it.

“The upcoming government will obey my policy,” he told members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Central Council. “I recognize Israel and reject violence and terrorism, and recognize international commitments.”

“The speech had mostly positive points, and we cannot but support it on topics such as Jerusalem, reconciliation and not recognizing (Israel as) the Jewish state, in addition to the failure of (peace) negotiations,” Bassem Naim, an adviser to Hamas’ Gaza Strip prime minister Ismail Haniya, told AFP…

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