The Sharjah-based Al Khaleej newspaper reported on Tuesday that the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has rejected the position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that any peace deal must include the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the Palestinian Authority.
“This is the language of acquiescence and we won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf was quoted as saying. “Let Israel go to the United Nations and demand changing its name into the Jewish state.” If the objective behind Netanyahu’s speech is to ask the Palestinians to give up their rights, he added, “then we all refuse to give up our rights.”
In a speech given over the weekend, Netanyahu reiterated his longtime position that the PA must recognize Israel as a Jewish state for any comprehensive peace agreement to be reached.
“Why are you not willing to recognize the Jewish state? We are willing to recognize your nation state, and that is at great cost – it involves territories, our ancestral lands, which is not insignificant,” Netanyahu said.