Palestinians say Liberman appointment shows Israel is no peace partner

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry says talk of including hardliner Liberman in Netanyahu’s government “confirms the lack of a peace partner in Israel.”

The development “does not surprise the Foreign Ministry,” it says. “Whoever follows daily the procedures and violations carried out by the extremist Netanyahu government against the Palestinian people, [sees] the racist, radical and violent nature of the politics of the Netanyahu government since day one. The inclusion of Liberman, known for his extreme right-wing stance toward the Palestinians, is new evidence that Netanyahu, as usual, has preferred to promote extremism in his government, which has become, as described by the Hebrew media, the most extreme government in Israel’s history.”

The ministry stresses that this decision by Netanyahu is a response to the French, international and regional efforts to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, and sends a strong message to the world that Israel “prefers extremism and to perpetuate the occupation and settlement over peace.” The ministry sees Netanyahu’s move as confirmation of the absence of a true partner for peace in Israel, it says.

A Palestinian official says a Liberman defense minister would be a “disaster” for Palestinians.

“He will be in charge of the occupation and it will be a disaster. He is a populist — either he talks too much or he puts his words into action.”

He says such was the dislike of Liberman that he was a “unifying factor for Palestinians.”

Dov Lieber, AFP

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