Abbas says willing to address Knesset on own terms

PA president to Voice of Russia responds to Netanyahu's call to speak in Israeli parliament, recognize Israel as Jewish state.

November 22, 2013 20:57
1 minute read.
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he is willing to address the Knesset on the issues he wants to speak about, which are not necessarily in line with those insisted on by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

In response to the premier’s call Monday for Abbas to address the body and recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in order to establish peace, the Palestinian leader told the Russian radio broadcasting service, the Voice of Russia, that he would make a speech in the Israeli parliament, “but only in order to say what I want to say and not what [Netanyahu] wants to hear.

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“You know, Netanyahu comes up with an offer and then immediately puts forward his own terms – that this and that should be said and so on.”

Netanyahu, who spoke at a special Knesset session held for French President Francois Hollande, said, “We can’t be expected to recognize a Palestinian state without the Palestinians recognizing Israel as the Jewish state.”

Abbas responded, when asked if he would agree to accept Netanyahu’s proposal, “No, if those terms are put forward, I do not accept that.

“But if he wants me to come and say the things I want to say, then I am ready to do it,” he stated.

Abbas also told the Russian radio show that an independent Palestinian state would only be established when “Israel realizes the need to establish peace in the Middle East.”

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