Barack Obama said he spoke as a
"true friend" of Israel [EPA]
Arab leaders have reacted with anger and disbelief to an intensely pro-Israeli speech delivered by Barack Obama, the US Democratic presumptive presidential nominee. Obama told the influential annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Council (Aipac): "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided."
His comments appalled Palestinians who see occupied East Jerusalem as part of a future Palestinian state. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Al Jazeera on Thursday: "This is the worst thing to happen to us since 1967 ... he has given ammunition to extremists across the region".
"What really disppoints me is that someone like Barack Obama, who runs a campaign on the theme of change - when it comes to Aipac and what's needed to be said differently about the Palestinian state, he fails."
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"I say to Obama ... please stop being more Israeli than the Israelis themselves, leave the Israelis and Palestinians alone to make decisions required for peace." Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, rejected the statement, saying: "We will not accept an independent Palestinian state without having Jerusalem as the capital