Palestinian Refusal to Recognize the Jewish State of Israel First Surfaced at Annapolis

[Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center] The Palestinian Authority's intense objection to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, expressed with the formation of the new Israeli government, is not new. The issue of the two-state solution was a subject of dispute during the contacts held by the Israeli and PA negotiating teams in November 2007 when they tried to forge a joint document which would be ratified at the Annapolis meeting. Abu Alaa, head of the Palestinian negotiating team, said at the time that the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state was "unacceptable." He added that the Palestinian side was completely opposed to a population exchange "inside" [i.e., within the State of Israel] and refused to relinquish the [so called] Palestinian refugees' right to return. Saeb Erekat, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said of Prime Minister Olmert's demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state, that Israel wanted "something new." He said that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state could not even be discussed internationally. Nabil Abu Rudeina, PA presidential spokesman, said that the Palestinians had not agreed to a joint document because the Israelis raised an issue which was unacceptable for them: "They insist that the state is Jewish, and we did not accept that at all."

2009-04-21 06:00:00

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