Prominent Palestinian official Nabil Amro, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Committee, said that there is a possibility the Palestinian leadership would recognize Israel as a Jewish state, while other Palestinians have remained firm against the demand.
Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state has been one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s key demands during negotiations.
“If that was one of the main obstacles in U.S. 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 told Ma’an News Agency, adding that such recognition would have to be put to a referendum.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said the framework deal being negotiated by Kerry will likely include Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
“It’s too early to know what compromises and concessions both sides will make,” Shapiro told Israel Radio on Friday. “But we do believe… that Israel deserves recognition as a Jewish state.”
But other Palestinian officials such as Hanan Ashrawi, another member of the PLO, this week expressed clear opposition to the demand, saying they already recognized Israel’s right to exist during the 1990s.
“The Jewishness of the state of Israel… this is a new addition,” Ashrawi said.