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Arab summit refuses to recognize Israel as 'Jewish state'
Published Wednesday 26/03/2014 (updated) 27/03/2014 10:14
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President Mahmoud Abbas attends the 25th Arab League
summit in Kuwait City non March 25, 2014.(AFP/Yasser Al-Zayyat)
KUWAIT CITY (AFP) -- Arab leaders fully back a Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, an Israeli demand that threatens to derail peace talks, a joint statement said on Wednesday.

"We express our total rejection of the call to consider Israel as a Jewish state," said the final declaration of the two-day Arab summit in Kuwait.

President Abbas told the 25th Arab League summit that the Israeli government was trying to renege on its commitment to release Palestinian prisoners and was not serious about peace talks.

"The Israeli government took every chance to foil the American efforts. This proves what we say about the lack of seriousness and preparedness of the Israeli government to withdraw and create peace."

Abbas rejected partitioning the al-Aqsa mosque either physically or by imposing a schedule in which Jews and Muslims be able to worship separately.

Ahead of the summit, Arab officials told Ma'an that Arab envoys were considering withdrawing the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.

The initiative -- which calls for two states on the 1967 borders and a "just settlement" of the refugee issue in exchange for full normalization between Israel and the Arab world -- was largely rejected by Israeli officials after it was approved at the 2002 Beirut summit.

The PLO recognized Israel's right to exist in 1988, but say that recognizing Israel as a "Jewish state" is unnecessary and could jeopardize the right of return for Palestinian refugees and limit the rights of Palestinians living in Israel.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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1 ) Mel / USA
26/03/2014 14:56
Recognizing Israel as a STATE back at 1947,is ALL that's needed by any other nations/states.Israel's NEVER recognized Palestine as anything but a Austwich,Gulag&whipping boy.Israeli's must re-define their"Jewish"ness,since it's SO lawless/savage & totally in DISGRACE of the very reason it's supposed to be there,i.e. escape from racism/bigotry.Yet,it emulates previous torturers/oppressors? Jews in Israel,&USA,have lost what "Jewish" means,at the more rational,sane,moral,ethical,humane level.

2 ) howard / usa
26/03/2014 15:15
not a surprise

3 ) izzy / usa
26/03/2014 15:17
this attitude is EXACTLY why the Palestinians still have nothing. when Israel took over Jerusalem it worked with Jordan so that al aqsa would have some arab presence. now the arab states wont even compromise to allow anyone but muslims at al aqsa

4 ) Maureen / Australia
26/03/2014 20:29
#3 izzy Al Aqsa is a Muslim Holy place of worship. Are you thinkinking of becoming a Muslim? BTW Palestinians have world recognition regardless of how hard Zionists have tried to destroy their culture, human rights, dignity.

5 ) Arnold / Canada
26/03/2014 22:07
Mel / USA # 1. Seems the problem with the Arab States back in 1947 is that they refused to recognize Israel as even just a "state". So your argument is moot. They did their thing and Israel did hers. Look who is thriving and who is not. And I do not just mean Palestinians. Aside from the Arabs having oil the other big resource is sand. Maureen / Australia # 4. Before al aqsa there was a Jewish Temple. We Jews just want the right to pray there. We do not give a hoot if moslems pray there as well
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