'PA won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state'

Palestinian negotiator Nabil Sha'ath says PA won't make declaration that would impede refugees right of return, will leave talks if settlement building continues.

nabil shaath 311 (photo credit: BLOOMBERG)
nabil shaath 311
(photo credit: BLOOMBERG)
The Palestinian Authority does not intend to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team participating in the direct peace talks said in Ramallah on Wednesday.
"The Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as the Jewish state because such a declaration will negate the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their home," said Nabil Sha'ath.
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Sha'ath clarified that "the PA is not opposed to the fact that there will be a Jewish majority in Israel," but that the PA had rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's request to discuss the recognition of Israel as the Jewish state at the talks schedule to occur in Sharm e-Sheikh.
He also reiterated the PA position that if Israel permitted the continuation of building in its West Bank settlement after the expiration of the government's building freeze the PA would walk out of the peace talks. "If Israel goes back to settlements, we will not stay in the negotiations," Sha'ath said.