Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's talk about an "historic compromise" and said there would be no compromises on core issues such as Jerusalem and borders.
Abbas also reiterated his rejection of Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "We're not talking about a Jewish state and we won't talk about one," Abbas said in an interview with the semi-official Al-Quds
newspaper. "For us, there is the state of Israel and we won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state."RELATED:Analysis: The PA's mixed messages about peace talks
Abbas said that in recent meetings with leaders of the Jewish community
in the US, he made it clear that the Palestinians would not recognize
Israel as a Jewish state. "I told them that this is their business and
that they are free to call themselves whatever they want," Abbas said.
"But [I told them] you can't expect us to accept this."
Abbas said that by raising the issue of Israel's right to be a Jewish
state, Netanyahu was seeking to "strip" Israeli-Arabs of their rights
and turn them into illegal citizens. He said that Netanyahu's goal was
also to block any chance of Palestinian "refugees" from returning to
their original homes inside Israel.
Asked about the possibility of dismantling the PA, Abbas said he did not
rule out such an option if he reached the conclusion that the peace
talks are hopeless. However, he stressed that this option was not on the
table at present.
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