Official: PLO could recognize Israel as 'Jewish state'
Published Friday 21/02/2014 (updated) 22/02/2014 22:49
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly demanded
that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state. (Jason Reed/AFP, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO Central Committee member Nabil Amro said Friday that there is a possibility that the Palestinian leadership could recognize Israel as a Jewish state in some form.
Amro told Ma'an that some form of recognition could be accepted by the current leadership but would need to be approved by a popular referendum.
The PLO official said that US officials must present an acceptable form of recognition, but what is currently being proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is unacceptable.
"If that was one of the main obstacles in US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts, then the active and determined Kerry has to overcome it without embarrassing Abbas or weakening any possible agreement between Palestinians and Israelis," Amro said.
More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.8 million including their descendants -- were forced into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel's creation in 1948.
Palestinian officials have repeatedly said that recognizing the concept of Israel as a "Jewish state" is unnecessary and threatens the rights of nearly 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of Israel who remained in their homes during the displacement of the majority of the Palestinian population.
The right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land is enshrined in article 11 of UN resolution 194.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.