August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agrees on deploying international peacekeeping forces in a future Palestinian state regardless of their religion, an aide to Abbas said on Saturday.

Abbas' advisor Nemer Hammad denied U.S. media reports that the Palestinian leader would not agree to have any Jews among the peacekeeping forces that would be present alongside the Israeli- Palestinian borders after reaching a two-state solution.

"These reports are totally baseless and untrue," Hammad was quoted by the official Palestinian Wafa news agency as saying.

Hammad said President Abbas reiterated on many occasions that he will not accept the presence of any "Israeli" soldiers, not Jews, in the peace keeping forces. "We all know that there are many non-Jews in the Israeli army, so the issue is not ethnic."

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has been demanding the deployment of peacekeeping forces in the West Bank since the second Intifada (uprising) kicked off in 2000 to provide protection to the Palestinians there.

This demand has been opposed by the Jewish state so far.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017