File -- In this Friday, Oct. 26, 2007 file photo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, attends Muslim prayers at a mosque adjacent to his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday called the Holocaust "the most heinous crime" of modern history and expressed his sympathy for the victims, a rare acknowledgment by an Arab leader of Jewish suffering during the Nazi genocide.Abbas' comments appeared, in part, aimed at reaching out to Israeli public opinion at a time of deep crisis in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Abbas' office said he discussed the Holocaust in a meeting with an American rabbi, Marc Schneier, who visited Abbas' headquarters in Ramallah last week.Abbas said the Holocaust was an expression of the idea of ethnic discrimination and racism, and made a connection to Palestinian suffering of today.At the time, Israeli leaders alleged Abbas preferred peace with the militants, who have called for Israel's destruction, to peace with Israel.
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