Former Israeli PM: US was ready to absorb 100,000 Palestinian refugees
Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that the Bush administration had assured him that the United States would be ready to absorb about 100,000 Palestinian refugees immediately as American citizens, should Israel reach a permanent settlement with the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli leader said in Tel Aviv that during negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 he had offered a solution to the refugee problem that would have been in line with the Arab League peace plan.
The Bush administration had offered this American contribution to the refugee problem as part of what would be a framework of international compensation, Olmert said. "I think that if the refugees - many of whom are already second or third generation [Palestinians] living outside of the territories – were given a choice between returning to Israel or the United States, we could guess what they would choose," he said.
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