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Netanyahu to Abbas: 'Recognize the Jewish state'

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling on the Palestinian leader to recognize Israel as a Jewish state to prove that he is truly prepared to end the conflict between the two sides.

Speaking Tuesday in Washington, Netanyahu issued a message to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he needs to recognize the Jewish state with "no excuses, no delays."

Netanyahu says he hopes a peace deal can be reached, but that if one is achieved, it will almost certainly come under attack by Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaida and other militant groups.

He says that while international peacekeepers can help ensure Israel's security going forward — only the Israeli army can defend its homeland.

Netanyahu also reiterated his disbelief about Iran's claim that it is not trying to develop a nuclear weapon.

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