US President Barack Obama praised Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas when they met in the White House Monday, but told him he still faces tough decisions in the negotiations with Israel. Abbas said the Palestinians had recognized Israel as the Jews’ national state in the past and there was not need to repeat this. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s intentions regarding peace negotiations faced their test, he said, when it came to Israel's release the fifth batch of Palestinians prisoners [serving long sentences for terrorism and security offensives], including Israel Arabs.