Abbas: 'I don't have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state'

September 7, 2010 13:16

In an interview with the Palestinian media, PA president says he refuses to compromise on any of the major issues: Settlements, borders or refugees.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas what 311. (photo credit:Associated Press)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state in an interview with east Jerusalem newspaper Al-Quds.

When asked about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's demand that the PA recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said "Israel can call itself whatever it wants. We don't have to recognize those definitions."

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Abbas repeatedly told the interviewer, on his trip from Libya to Jordan, that he will not compromise, especially when it comes to settlements and 1967 borders.

Abbas complained that the "historic compromise" that Netanyahu mentioned in his speech is a request for Palestinians to "withdraw all the issues, especially with the occupied territories in 1967."

"We reject this because we see the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip as indivisible," Abbas said.

The PA president also said that the US should continue its role. "The US was close to the negotiations, but did not enter the negotiation rooms," he explained.

"There is no doubt that we and the Israelis differ on many issues since the start of negotiations. There are fundamental differences on many issues," Abbas said, "but we must sit at the negotiations table to clarify the positions." He added that the refugee issue as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners must be resolved.

Abbas also commented on the divisions between Hamas and Fatah, calling on them to compromise and join forces.
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