Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the Holocaust “the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era.”
The statement, made in advance of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, was published Sunday by Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency.
The statement is the result of a meeting last week in Ramallah between Abbas and American Rabbi Marc Schneier, founder and president of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.
Abbas also expressed his “sympathy” to the families of the victims of the Holocaust.
It reportedly is the first time that a Palestinian leader has offered such condolences, according to the New York Times.
Abbas called on the world to “fight racism and injustice” and called on Israel to reach a “comprehensive peace” in the region.
“The Palestinian people, who suffer from injustice, oppression and denied freedom and peace, are the first to demand to lift the injustice and racism that befell other peoples subjected to such crimes,” he said, according to Wafa.
“On the incredibly sad commemoration of Holocaust Day, we call on the Israeli government to seize the current opportunity to conclude a just and comprehensive peace in the region, based on the two states vision, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security,” he concluded.
Holocaust Remembrance Day begins in Israel on Sunday night.