October 13, 2010
Posted: 1619 GMT
A top Palestinian negotiator distanced the Palestinian Authority government from comments made by a senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official inferring Palestinians might recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for a future Palestinian state based on 1967 borders that included all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"We are not going to do anything that would pre-empt or prejudge the rights of the Palestinians in Israel or Palestinian refugees" Nabil Sha'ath, an advisor to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, told CNN. "We are not going to do it – forget it"
Sha'ath's comments followed a report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoting PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo as saying "We want to receive a map of the State of Israel which Israel wants us to accept....If the map will be based on the 1967 borders and will not include our land, our houses and East Jerusalem, we will be willing to recognize Israel according to the formulation of the government within the hour,"
He went on to tell the newspaper "It is important for us to know where are the borders of Israel and where are the borders of Palestine. Any formulation the Americans present – even asking us to call Israel the 'Chinese State' – we will agree to it, as long as we receive the 1967 borders. We have recognized Israel in the past, but Israel has not recognized the Palestinian state."
Sha'ath told CNN that Abed Rabbo's comments, as reported, did not represent the position of the PLO or the Fatah political faction which dominates the Palestinian Authority.
On Monday Palestinians rejected an offer from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau to renew a freeze on new construction in the occupied West Bank in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Isarel as a Jewish state.
Arab Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, told CNN that in a phone conversation Wednesday with Mahmoud Abbas the Palestinian president assured him there was no intention to recognize Israel a Jewish state.
CNN, despite repeated attempts, was unable to contact Abed Rabbo for comment.
Posted by: Kevin Flower
This blog has now been archived and commenting has been switched off. Visit the Inside the Middle East site for news, views and video from across the region.
Read more about CNN's special reports policy