Middle East

Palestinians will never recognise Israel as 'Jewish state'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank city of Ramallah in this April 1, 2014 file picture. REUTERS/ Mohamad Torokman

RAMALLAH: Palestinians will never recognise Israel as the "Jewish state," president Mahmud Abbas said Saturday, as his leadership convened to chart a course of action after Israel halted peace talks.

"In 1993 we recognised Israel," Abbas told members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Central Council, adding that the Palestinians should not be forced to go a step further and recognise Israel's religious identity.

Israel had made recognition of it as a "Jewish state" a key demand in peace talks, which it withdrew from after Abbas's PLO on Wednesday signed a reconciliation deal with the Islamist Hamas movement, which does not recognise Israel's right to exist.





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