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April 27, 2014

Abbas calls Holocaust 'most heinous crime'

(Continued)

RAMALLAH, West Bank —

"Instead of issuing statements designed to placate global public opinion, (Abbas) needs to choose between the alliance with Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel and denies the Holocaust, and a true peace with Israel," Netanyahu said.

Abbas has said he is ready to extend negotiations beyond Tuesday's deadline, provided Israel halts settlement construction and keeps a promise to release a group of veteran Palestinian prisoners. Those are steps Israel has refused to take and which initially imperiled the talks.

Abbas said Saturday that any interim unity government with Hamas would be based on his political platform, not that of Hamas.

On Sunday, he said Israel must not walk away.

"On the incredibly sad commemoration of Holocaust Day, we call on the Israeli government to seize the current opportunity to conclude a just and comprehensive peace in the region, based on the two states vision, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security," Abbas said.

___

Associated Press writers Ian Deitch in Jerusalem and Mohammed Daraghmeh contributed to this report.

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