In an interview with Arab-language newspaper Kul al-Arab that was published over the weekend, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for a renewal of peace negotiations with Israel.
Abbas said that negotiating with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was not a problem.
“The Palestinian people’s hands are always outstretched in peace,” Abbas said. “Ignoring these outstretched hands for peace could be devastating to both sides.”
However, Abbas reiterated that the Palestinian Authority already recognized Israel’s right to exist in the Oslo Accords, but the Palestinians would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “I have no hatred or animosity for the Jewish people or the State of Israel,” Abbas said.
Israeli construction Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) criticized Abbas’s statement.
“After unilaterally violating the agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority by turning to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, how dare Abbas say his hands are outstretched in peace?” Ariel asked.