Britain ‘deeply concerned’ by Palestinian president’s Holocaust remarks

Jewish groups and diplomats also condemned Mr Abbas’ comments, made in a speech on Monday to the Palestinian National Council, that Jews had suffered historically not because of their religion but because they had served as bankers and money lenders.

“It would appear that, once a Holocaust denier, always a Holocaust denier,” Mr Netanyahu said on Twitter.

“I call upon the international community to condemn the grave anti-Semitism of Abu Mazen (Abbas), which should have long since passed from this world.”

On Thursday, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) parliament was preparing to hand its authority over to a smaller council in a move seen as a concentration of power in the hands of President Mahmoud Abbas’s loyalists.

The Palestinian National Council agreed Thursday to grant the 115-member Central Council authority to assume the political body’s powers, such as appointing a successor to the 83-year-old Palestinian leader and resolving the decade-long rift with the rival Hamas party ruling Gaza.

Abbas aide Ahmad Majdalani says the move will “make it easier for the PLO to handle political developments, and to fill any vacuum in PLO positions.”

The Palestinian National Council, which met this week for the first time in over two decades, was set to formally announce the measure Thursday evening. 

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