Palestinian President Abbas says there's 'no way' he'll recognize Israel as Jewish state
March 07, 2014 , Fox News , Associated Presshttp://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/07/palestinian-president-abbas-says-there-is-no-way-hell-recognize-israel-as/
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there is "no way" he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accept a Palestinian capital in just a portion of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, rebuffing what Palestinians fear will be key elements of a U.S. peace proposal.
Abbas' comments signaled that the gaps between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain wide after seven months of mediation efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Abbas, whose remarks were published on Friday by the Palestinian news agency WAFA, said he withstood international pressure in the past, when he sought U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine over Washington's objections.
Netanyahu has said such recognition is required as proof that the Palestinians are serious about peace. Abbas has noted that the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized the state of Israel in 1993 and said this is sufficient.
Palestinians fear the demand is an Israel attempt to restrict possible return options of Palestinian refugees and the rights of Israel's large Arab minority.
Netanyahu never presented a detailed border proposal, but said that Israel wants to keep east Jerusalem, maintain a long-term military presence in the West Bank's Jordan Valley and annex unspecified "settlement blocs."
Netanyahu accelerated settlement construction during the talks, with housing starts in settlements more than doubling in 2013, compared to the year before.
He also said the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a demand that appears to have U.S. support, based on recent speeches by Kerry and Obama.
Abbas said in his speech late Thursday that he would not compromise on a demand for a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem.
Abbas reiterated that the Palestinians have options if the negotiations don't lead to a deal. He said he would resume their quest for wider U.N. recognition, a step Israel and the U.S. adamantly oppose and that was suspended for nine months of the negotiations. Abbas said the Palestinians could also continue to resist occupation with demonstrations.
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