Abbas says sorry for 'anti-Semitic' comment, re-elected PLO boss

Abbas says sorry for 'anti-Semitic' comment, re-elected PlO boss

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (File Photo: Xinhua/Pool/Fadi Arouri/IANS)
Ramallah, May 4 (IANS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas apologized on Friday for his statements that were widely considered anti-Semitic, aftre being re-elected the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee.
He said that "if people were offended by my statements in front of the PNC, especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them", Xinhua news agency reported.
Abbas, 82, was earlier elected the PLO chief following a four-day meeting by the top legislative body that was boycotted by the Islamist group Hamas.
Abbas has been holding the position for decades and was elected by the Palestinian National Council, which met for the first time in 22 years, Efe news reported.
The President has left three seats of the executive committee open for the factions that had boycotted the meeting, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Abbas suggested on Monday that the historical prosecution of the Jews in Europe was caused by their "social functions" in society, including money-lending.
His statements drew wide international condemnation and were decried by the European Union as anti-Semitic.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday said Abbas cannot be a "peace partner" in light of this rhetoric.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Abbas "recited the most contemptible anti-Semitic canards".
--IANS
ahm/mr

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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