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The Islamic Jihad on Monday announced that it is rejecting a document that was to serve as a basis for Palestinian national consensus because it implicitly recognized the state of Israel.
Khader Habib, an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza, told the Associated Press that the movement was "rejecting the main points in the prisoners' document ... therefore Islamic Jihad is not willing to sign the agreement."
The 18-point document being discussed by all Palestinian factions was put together by Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. The document calls for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, implying recognition of the Jewish state.
On Sunday, the ruling Hamas and rival Fatah faction were reported to be moving closer to an agreement on over the document.
Going along with the plan would force Hamas to change or gloss over its main principles, such as violently opposing a Jewish state in the Middle East.
Before outright rejection of the document on Monday, Islamic Jihad had stated that it merely had "reservations" about the plan.
A large majority of Palestinians support the document according to a poll released earlier Monday.
The survey by the independent Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that close to three-quarters of those questioned support the document, but only 47 percent would vote for it in a referendum. The poll was the first to differentiate between the two categories.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has adopted the document and has called a July 26 referendum if the Hamas-led government does not accept it by then.
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