Liberman: Abbas inciting worse than Hamas

Foreign minister insists Israel must wait for new Palestinian leader to be elected before negotiating with Ramallah

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is conducting an incitement campaign worse than that of the terror group Hamas, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Wednesday, stepping up his rhetoric against Ramallah amid an uptick in violent incidents.

Liberman said Abbas should not be considered a peace partner, and Israel should refrain from negotiating with the Palestinians until a new leader is elected.

“He is overseeing a state terror campaign and his incitement is more dangerous and inflammatory than that of Hamas,” Liberman told Israel Radio.

According to Liberman, Abbas has no legitimacy from the Palestinian constitution and Israel should resume negotiations only once a Palestinian leader is democratically elected.

The foreign minister’s comments come less than a day after he excoriated the PA head as “a Jew hater” who “promotes terror.”

Liberman on Tuesday also compared Abbas to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, accused by Israel of overseeing years of terror campaigns.

“On the 10th anniversary of Arafat’s death we see that there is no difference between Arafat and [Abbas]. Both … believe in terror,” he said.

Liberman, from the right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party, has lashed out at Abbas in the past, accusing him of waging a campaign of dipomatic terror against Israel.

Other Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have pointed a finger at Abbas over the last several weeks for inciting Palestinians to carry out terror attacks against Israelis.

Abbas on Tuesday warned that Israeli actions in Jerusalem may spark “a global war” and vowed to “protect al-Aqsa,” the mosque that sits on the Temple Mount.

“Keep the settlers and the extremists away from Al-Aqsa and our holy places,” Abbas said in Ramallah at a commemoration marking the anniversary of Arafat’s death.

“We will not allow our holy places to be contaminated. Keep them away from us and we will stay away from them, but if they enter al-Aqsa, [we] will protect [it],” he said.

The past month has seen more Israelis murdered by Palestinian terror attacks than the past two years combined, according to Israeli news site Ynet.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to deploy increased numbers of security personnel across the country to quell growing unrest.

Netanyahu, Liberman, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have repeatedly accused the PA president of fanning the flames of violence in the capital and around Israel in past weeks. Economy Minister Naftali Bennet said Monday that Abbas is “a terrorist in a suit” and claimed that his incitement had been a primary cause in the ongoing wave of terrorism striking the country.

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