WASHINGTON - US Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich thrust himself into controversy on Friday by declaring that the Palestinians are an "invented" people who want to destroy Israel.
The former speaker of the US House of Representatives predictably sided with Israel in its decades-old dispute with the Palestinians but took it a step further in an interview with the Jewish Channel.
The cable station posted online its interview with Gingrich, who has risen to the top of Republican polls with voting to start early next year to pick a nominee to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.
Gingrich differed with official US policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel.
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