April 16, 2009 / 4:47 PM / in 8 years

Israel demands Palestinians recognise 'Jewish state'

JERUSALEM, April 16 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a visiting U.S. envoy on Thursday that his government would condition talks over Palestinian statehood on the Palestinians first recognising Israel as a Jewish state.

"Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognise Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples," a senior official in Netanyahu's office quoted the new prime minister as telling George Mitchell, U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem; Writing by Adam Entous, Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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