Abbas signals flexibility on Palestinian refugees

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RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian president on Sunday reassured a group of young Israeli activists visiting his West Bank compound that he has no intention of flooding Israel with Palestinian refugees — his most ambitious attempt yet to directly influence Israeli public opinion over the heads of a largely hard-line Israeli leadership.

President Mahmoud Abbas made a series of conciliatory statements on some of the most sensitive issues in peace talks, including alleged Palestinian incitement against Israel and recognition of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, as he sought to rally support for US-backed peace efforts.

Abbas delivered his message at a sensitive time in the peace talks. The sides have been conducting behind-the-scenes negotiations for nearly seven months.

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