Palestinian leader accuses Israel of 'ethnic cleansing'

JERUSALEM (AP) " The Palestinian president is accusing Israel of "ethnic cleansing," days after Israel's leader lobbed that same allegation at the Palestinians.

President Mahmoud Abbas has made the claim against Israel in the past. But his remarks late Sunday came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted West Bank settlements were not an obstacle to peace and that Palestinians wanted the "ethnic cleansing" of Jews in the West Bank.

Netanyahu's comments drew a harsh rebuke from the U.S., which said such terminology was "inappropriate and unhelpful."

In his remarks for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, Abbas also said he was prepared to continue with the "diplomatic process" and was ready to meet Netanyahu to discuss peace following an invitation to both leaders to meet in Moscow.

U.S.-brokered peace negotiations collapsed in 2014.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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