September 8, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, even though the PA acknowledges there is a Jewish majority in Israel, senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said at a press conference in Ramallah on Wednesday.

According to Shaath, the Palestinian negotiating team turned down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request to discuss the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state during the upcoming round of peace talks in Sharm el-Sheikh next week.

Shaath said that the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would harm Israel's Arab citizens and negate the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

Shaath added that any future peace agreement with Israel would be brought before the Palestinian people in a referendum.

"If we're on the verge of a peace agreement, we will need complete unity," he said.


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