Abbas tells Barakeh no to population exchanges

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 25, 2007 22:16

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas opposes the idea of population exchanges of settlers and Israeli Arabs as part of a peace accord with Israel, Abbas said in a meeting on Saturday with Hadash MK Mohammed Barakeh. Abbas said his goal was a Palestinian state in the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital. He said population exchange was an idea Israel had raised in the past, but that he had always turned it down. Barakeh, who represents Israeli Arabs, thanked Abbas and said that "Arab citizens in Israel are not Israeli real estate that can be negotiated as the spoils of occupation."


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