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Thursday, July 31, 2014 | 12:25:49 PM

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Abu Mazen: ‘We will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told supporters today that he will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The demand for statements recognizing Israel as the national home of the Jewish people has been a central demand of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mar 08, 2014, 01:49AM | Gabriel Avner
US Sec. Kerry with President Abbas

US Sec. Kerry with President Abbas : Reuters / Channel 2

In a meeting yesterday, President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted by the Palestinian WAPA news agency as telling youth members of his Fatah organization that, ‘There is no chance that we will recognize Israel as a Jewish state’.

The statement by Abu Mazen comes after Netanyahu’s public campaign on the issue of Palestinian recognition for Israel as being a key component of any peace deal.

The Palestinian leadership has been reluctant to acquiesce to the demand by Israel for recognition as a Jewish state due to concerns that it would interfere with claims by Palestinian refugees to land that they owned prior to the 1948 War of Independence. The leadership has also expressed statements over the rights of Palestinian Israelis living inside the Green Line who could have their civil rights affected should they recognize the Jewish character of the state, a charge that Israel has denied.

In the meanwhile, both Israelis and Palestinians are awaiting the release of the new framework for peace which is expected to be released in the coming weeks by American Secretary of State John Kerry who has spend many of the past months in shuttle diplomacy between the two sides.

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