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Jun 25, 9:11 AM EDT

Palestinians' Abbas disavows Jewish poisoning plot comments


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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has disavowed comments he made this week about an alleged plot by rabbis calling on Jewish settlers to poison the drinking water of Palestinians.

In a fiery speech to the European Union in Brussels, Abbas repeated unsubstantiated claims of a plot to poison Palestinian wells, sparking accusations of anti-Semitism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas showed his "true face" by spreading such a "blood libel" and called on him to cease inciting against Israel.

On Saturday, Abbas' office acknowledged that his comments were "baseless." Abbas rejected the anti-Semitic accusations leveled against him and said he "didn't intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world."

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