RAMALLAH, West Bank – A Palestinian official says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked the Palestinian president in their weekend meetings to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland.
The official says Mahmoud Abbas opposes the idea amid concerns it will hurt the right of return of Palestinian refugees to what is now Israel, but that talks are continuing. He spoke anonymously because Kerry doesn't want those involved in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to talk to journalists.
Kerry was meeting with the leaders of Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Sunday, possibly to win Arab backing for any Palestinian concessions.
Kerry has been pushing for the outlines of peace deal. The apparent trade-off is Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish homeland, in exchange for Israel's acceptance of its pre-1967 frontier as the baseline for border talks.