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Palestinian leader seeks Trump support for independence

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territory — The Palestinian president says he will seek President-elect Donald Trump's support for an independent Palestinian state.

In a lengthy address to his Fatah Party Wednesday, President Mahmoud Abbas said he hopes that 2017 will be the year that the Palestinians finally gain independence.

He repeated his longstanding demand that a Palestinian state be established in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — areas captured by Israel in 1967.

Trump has said he would like to broker a Mideast peace deal. But he has raised concerns among Palestinians because many of his advisers take hard-line positions that favour Israel.

"If he wants to talk with us, we are pursuing that," Abbas said.

The 81-year-old Abbas was re-elected to a new five-year term as Fatah leader on Tuesday.

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