Palestinian leader Abbas offers apology for remarks on Jews

Jerusalem, IsraelUpdated: May 04, 2018, 04:09 PM IST

File photo of Mahmoud Abbas. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday offered an apology after he was criticised for anti-Semitism for a speech in which he suggested that historic persecution of European Jews had been caused by their conduct, not by their religion.

Abbas condemned anti-Semitism and called the Holocaust the "most heinous crime in history" in a statement issued by his office in Ramallah after a four-day meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC).

The statement said: "If people were offended by my statement in front of the PNC, especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them. I would like to assure everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic faiths."