Abbas calls Holocaust 'most heinous crime'

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Associated Press

Posted on April 27, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 27 at 9:03 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's national Holocaust memorial is welcoming a rare Palestinian acknowledgment of the Nazi campaign to exterminate Jews.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is brushing off today's comments by Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian president called the Holocaust "the most heinous crime" of modern history.

His statement appeared to be an effort to reach out to Israeli public opinion at a time of deep crisis in U.S.-backed peace efforts.

But Netanyahu, in interviews on CBS and CNN, said the Palestinian president's recent attempts to reconcile with the Islamic militant movement Hamas raise doubts about his sincerity. Hamas has called for Israel's destruction and doesn't allow Gaza schools to teach children about the Holocaust.

Netanyahu says Abbas "can't say the Holocaust was terrible, but at the same time embrace those who deny the Holocaust" and seek to destroy the Jewish people.

Denials or attempts to minimize the Holocaust are widespread in the Arab world.

%@AP Links

145-a-16-(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in interview)-"state of Israel"-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Palestinian president's actions don't match his words. COURTESY: CBS' 'Face the Nation' ((mandatory on-air credit)) (27 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *145 (04/27/14)££ 00:16 "state of Israel"

147-a-13-(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in interview)-"giant leap backward"-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he doubts the Palestinian president's sincerity in acknowledging the Holocaust just days after reconcliling with the Islamic militant Hamas, which has vowed to destroy Israel. COURTESY: CBS' 'Face the Nation' ((mandatory on-air credit)) (27 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *147 (04/27/14)££ 00:13 "giant leap backward"

146-a-13-(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in interview)-"peace with Israel"-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he's not impressed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' statement that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime of modern history. COURTESY: CBS' 'Face the Nation' ((mandatory on-air credit)) (27 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *146 (04/27/14)££ 00:13 "peace with Israel"

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