Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Middle east

Fatah refuses to recognise Israel as a 'Jewish' state

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-11

Fatah's Revolutionary Council on Monday unanimously endorsed a move by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to reject Israeli demands to be recognised as a Jewish state, creating another stumbling block for peace talks.

"President Abbas has reaffirmed his refusal to recognise the Jewishness of the State of Israel and council members stood up to hail this decision," a senior Fatah official told AFP from the meeting in Ramallah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made recognising Israel as a Jewish state a central issue of peace negotiations, saying it is at the root of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

Palestinians reject that claim, noting that they recognised Israel in 1993 and saying that enshrining it as a "Jewish state" would compromise the right of Palestinian refugees to return home.

Abbas told delegates that "at 79 years old, he wasn't going to back down on his people's rights or betray their cause" despite what he called "great pressure", said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Abbas announced last week that he would never recognise Israel as a Jewish state. Netanyahu's government says the recognition would demonstrate that Abbas' Fatah movement was serious about peace.

Abbas heads to US

Abbas is scheduled to travel to the United States on an official visit next week, including holding a meeting with US President Barack Obama on March 17.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been leading the latest push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, encouraging both sides to sign a "framework agreement" on the thorny issues that have long troubled negotiations, which include the delineation of borders, the building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, security issues, the status of Jerusalem and the right of Palestinian refugees to return.

The US has appeared to back the recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state", but the State Department said Friday that the issue was still up for negotiation.

"If you look at the issue of a Jewish state and whether Israel will be called a 'Jewish state', that's been our position, as you know, for a long time, but that doesn't reflect what the parties will agree to," said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "... And, of course, there are many issues like that that are being discussed as part of the framework."

In another sign that a renewed diplomatic push for peace in the Middle East is under way, Prime Minister David Cameron plans to make his first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, a trip delayed by record-breaking floods in Britain.

Downing Street says the British leader will meet with both Netanyahu and Abbas on his two-day visit and will deliver a speech to Israel's parliament, the Knesset, on Wednesday.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

Date created : 2014-03-11

  • USA - ISRAEL

    Netanyahu to speak to pro-Israel conference in US

    Read more

  • ISRAEL – PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Video: Battle brewing for control of Jordan Valley

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    UNESCO ‘axes’ Jewish exhibit in Paris on Arab protests

    Read more

COMMENT(S)