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Netanyahu backtracks on Jewish state recognition

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu said Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is not a pre-condition for holding peace negotiations.

A statement issued Monday from the Prime Minister’s Office said that without that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Netanyahu believes "it will not be possible to advance the diplomatic process and reach a peace settlement. However, the prime minister has never set this as a pre-condition for the opening of negotiations and dialogue with the Palestinians."

Comments by an unnamed senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office led to reports last week in Israeli media and around the world that Netanyahu would require Palestinian officials to recognize Israel as a Jewish state before he would participate in peace talks.
 

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