RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would mean giving up the rights of Palestinians displaced in 1948, Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi said Saturday.
Israel wants to "create a narrative that denies the Palestinian presence, rights, and continuity on the historic Palestinian lands," Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's executive committee, told the Palestinian Ma'an news agency. She said Israel would no longer have any responsibility for Palestinians driven from their homes during the fighting that followed the creation of Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at a forum in Washington Dec. 8 Palestinians must recognize Israel is Jewish and there are "no longer any Palestinian national claims on the Jewish state," Ma'an said.
The Palestinian Authority estimates about 760,000 people were forced out of Israel in 1948 and that, with their descendents, the group numbers almost 5 million. More than 1 million Palestinians continue to live in Israel.