Israeli soldiers block the way of Palestinians waiting around the Palestinian market in the old town of Hebron in the Israeli occupied West Bank on Tuesday. Image Credit: EPA

Ramallah: The Palestinian Authority said on Wednesday that Palestinians will never recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

"The Palestinian Authority will never recognise that Israel is the national state for Jewish people as such recognition will directly threaten the Muslim and Christian Palestinians in Israel and will prevent the Palestinian refugees, who left their homes and towns decades ago from the right to return," Dr Nabeel Sha'ath, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who is also a member of the Palestinian Negotiating Team.

Dr Sha'ath was speaking at a press conference held at the Palestinian Ministry of Information in Ramallah.

"We do not reject the idea of Israel being a state of Jewish majority, paying full respect to the secured right of the Jews to practise their religion," he said.

"The Palestinian cause, however, is purely a political cause," he stressed.

He said the Palestinian Authority had already refused to expand the agenda for the coming round of negotiations in Sharm Al Shaikh, Egypt.

‘Clear intention'

"[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu had a clear intention to add the issue of the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state on the agenda of Sharm Al Shaikh round of negotiations, but that was totally rejected by the Palestinians," he said.

Dr Sha'ath said: "We are not ready to expose our people to political and security threats and dangers." He said the core issues had been discussed during the latest round of direct negotiations in Washington.

"President Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear to all the concerned parties during the talks' restart that we do not accept a single Israeli soldier, regardless of his nationality, to be or to stay on the Palestinian soil," he said.

"We totally understand the Israeli security needs but that should be traded in return for the understanding of the Palestinian needs for security, land, freedom, recognition and independence," he said. Dr Sha'ath said the issue of the Gaza blockade was as important as the colony activities.