US rejects Palestinian speech claims

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NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. State Department is issuing a tough diplomatic rejoinder to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' United Nations speech that accused Israel of war crimes in the summer war in Gaza.

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (sah-ki) said the Abbas speech Friday included offensive characterizations that the United States rejects as provocative, counterproductive and unhelpful to attempts to restore trust between Israel and the Palestinians.

The devastating war in Gaza has weakened Abbas domestically, with his radical Hamas rivals in Gaza enjoying a surge of popularity among Palestinians for fighting Israel.

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