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Abbas says he will never recognize a Jewish state

JTA

November 1, 2011 | 12:55 pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee in Doha on Oct. 30. Photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee in Doha on Oct. 30. Photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he will never recognize a Jewish state during an interview on an Egyptian television channel.

Abbas also told Dream 2 TV in an Oct. 23 interview that capturing Gilad Shalit was a “good thing.”

A transcript of the interview was published in an Oct. 31 report by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“They started talking to me about the ‘Jewish state’ only two years ago, discussing it with me at every opportunity, every forum I went to—Jewish or non-Jewish—asking: ‘What do you think about the “Jewish state”?’ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I will never recognize the Jewishness of the state, or a ‘Jewish state,’” Abbas said.

In response to the interviewer’s question about whether it was “the resistance” that freed more than a thousand prisoners in the swap for Gilad Shalit, Abbas responded:

“Hamas kidnapped—or rather, captured—a soldier, and managed to keep him for five years, and that is a good thing. We don’t deny it. On the contrary, it’s a good thing that on a small strip of land, 40×7 kilometers, they were able to keep him and hide him.”

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