Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made comments Saturday indicating he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The remarks were made in a speech to Palestinian supporters in Ramallah, in which Abbas added he would never agree to any peace deal that did not include Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

“We won’t recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel. We have many excuses and reasons that prevent us from doing so,” Abbas said.

He added that Palestinians “don’t love death, but we welcome martyrdom if it happens,” and “will march to Jerusalem in the millions, as free people and heroes,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

The comments came as Israel and Palestine are engaging in renewed peace talks, brokered by the US. American Secretary of State John Kerry has been to the region 10 times in the last year to lead talks, and will return soon to introduce a framework agreement.

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