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PLO official rejects conditions to recognize Israel as Jewish state
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20:20, November 13, 2007

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Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, said Tuesday the PLO rejected Israeli conditions to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

"It is only a Zionist party which deals with Israel as a Jewish state and we did not request to be a member of the international Zionism movement," Abed Rabbo said.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmoud Abbas, is negotiating with Israel an outline solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict before a U.S.-sponsored international peace conference.

The much-touted peace conference is expected to be held in Annapolis in the U.S. later this month.

Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert said the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state in parallel with the Israeli recognition of the Palestinian statehood.

"Peace should be made between two states or two sides ... It is not our role or their role to debate on such issues," Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio.

Meanwhile, Abed Rabbo has challenged Israeli allegations that the Palestinian leadership was weak and didn't enjoy public support.

"The Palestinian leadership is powerful and can face the internal and the Israeli challenges through the will of the Palestinian people," he said.

Abed Rabbo added that Israel's claims "were proved to be false" on Monday when thousands of Palestinians in Gaza participated in a rally to commemorate the third anniversary of late President Yasser Arafat's death.

Source: Xinhua

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