The Sharjah-based Al Khaleej newspaper reported on Tuesday that Fatah has rejected the position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who linked the possibility of making peace to Fatah's recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people. Fatah repeated that it refuses to recognise Israel as a Jewish homeland.
"This is the language of acquiescence and we won't recognise Israel as a Jewish state," said Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf. "Let Israel go to the United Nations and demand changing its name into the Jewish state." If the objective behind Netanyahu's speech is to ask the Palestinians to give up their rights, he added, "then we all refuse to give up our rights."
On Monday, Quds Press quoted Fatah official Dr Yahya Rabbah as saying that Netanyahu's remarks are part of the normal "Israeli intransigence" to give his government more time to construct illegal settlements. "The negotiations have not moved forward and negotiators have not even agreed on an agenda," he said, "so Netanyahu wants to give his government some cover to justify its stubborn approach." Hence, he concluded, the insistence on recognition of a "Jewish state".