Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas reportedly told US president Barack Obama he won’t recognize a “Jewish Israel,” he won’t abandon the “right of return,” and he won’t commit to “end of conflict” during talks this week.
Obama told reporters after the meeting a path to Mideast peace is “challenging.”
The Times of Israel reported:
On his trip to Washington this week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework document for continued peace talks with Israel, and issued “three no’s” on core issues, leaving the negotiations heading for an explosive collapse, an Israeli TV report said Friday
Abbas “went to the White House and said ‘no’ to Obama,” Channel 2 news reported, quoting unnamed American and Israeli sources.
Specifically, the report said, Abbas rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that he recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He also refused to abandon the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinians and their descendants — a demand that, if implemented, would drastically alter Israel’s demographic balance and which no conceivable Israeli government would accept. And finally, he refused to commit to an “end of conflict,” under which a peace deal would represent the termination of any further Palestinian demands of Israel.
Israel has indicated that it may not release a fourth and final group of Palestinian prisoners at the end of this month, as agreed to when the current talks began last July, if Abbas does not first agree to extend the talks beyond their scheduled cessation next month.