The Palestinians will be willing to consider "resolving" the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state when peace talks come an end and a meaningful solution to the conflict is achieved, Palestinian official Nabil Shaath told Israel Radio Tuesday.
Netanyahu has made the demand of Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state central to the current round of US-brokered peace talks. The Palestinians have bulked at the demand, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently saying there's "no way"
he'll recognize Israel as such.
Nabil Shaath (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
For his part, US Secretary of State John Kerry recently sounded veiled criticism at Netanyahu's demand, saying it was a "mistake"
to threat recognition as a deal breaker.
Shaath spoke exclusively with Israel Radio and claimed that the issue of recognition could remain on the table, but would be addressed only after a comprehensive agreement is reached.
Shaath added the demand's timing was suspicious, and could be a result of Israel's desire to stall peace talks and destroy any chances of reaching an agreement. He slammed the fact the issue has now become a central in talks, even though major issues like Jerusalem and refugees have yet to be resolved.
"If this issue would have appeared after the central issues would have been solved, and if we would recive the correct answers to practical questions, the issue could be resolved."
Monday US President Barack Obama met Abbas and urged him to make tough decisions and take risks for peace with Israel, as peace talks enter their final weeks.