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Abbas avoids clash with Israel over state symbols

By AP - Jan 07,2013 - Last updated at Jan 07,2013

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian officials say they will not rush to issue new passports and ID cards with the emblem “State of Palestine” to avoid confrontation with Israel.

Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decreed that in official documents “State of Palestine” must replace “Palestinian Authority”, the name of his self-rule government. His decision came after the UN General Assembly recognised a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in late November, overriding Israeli objections.

Israel says such a state can only be the result of negotiations.

On Monday, Palestinian officials said documents that need to be presented to Israel, such as passports, will not be changed now.

Abbas aide Saeb Erekat says there’s fear of travel problems because Israel is unlikely to recognise passports with a new emblem.

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