Any peace agreement which requires the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or an exchange of land is out of the question, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday.

In a Ramallah meeting with Hadash party Knesset members, Abbas said that it was now up to Israel to recognize a Palestinian state with 1967 borders, and that the PA had already recognised Israel back in 1993, thus negating the need for any further acknowledgment.

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On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at the opening of the Knesset's winter session.

In his speech, the prime minister challenged his Palestinian counterparts to continue the peace talks by saying he would initiate a cabinet proposal to renew a settlement moratorium if the Palestinian Authority would declare its recognition of Israel as a national home for the Jewish people.



"A Palestinian state could be a cause of continued conflict and terror if it is not handled responsibly." The prime minister said.

"Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is central to the dispute between us [and is necessary for its resolution]. If the Palestinians expect a national state, we can expect our own national state for the Jewish people."
                                                                     


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