PA’s Erekat says Netanyahu is same as Islamic State leader
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PA’s Erekat says Netanyahu is same as Islamic State leader

Top negotiator says PM’s UN speech ‘finally closed door’ to peace talks; condemns ‘terrorist settlers who kill, destroy and burn mosques and churches’

Leading Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, during a news conference in Ramallah on the West Bank on January 2, 2012. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/ FLASH90)
Leading Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, during a news conference in Ramallah on the West Bank on January 2, 2012. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/ FLASH90)

A senior Palestinian official on Tuesday likened Benjamin Netanyahu to the leader of the Islamic State group, after the prime minister compared Hamas to the jihadist organization.

“Netanyahu is trying to disseminate fear of the Islamic State led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but Netanyahu forgets that he himself leads the Jewish state,” said Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator in peace talks with Israel.

“He wants us to call Israel the Jewish state and supports terrorist settlers who kill, destroy and burn mosques and churches… like Baghdadi’s men kill and terrorize,” Erekat told AFP.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Monday, Netanyahu compared Israel’s battle against Hamas to that of the US-led one against the brutal IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a photo of an alleged Hamas rocket near children as he addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York, September 29, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Don Emmert)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a photo of an alleged Hamas rocket near children as he addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York, September 29, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Don Emmert)

With his speech at the United Nations, “Netanyahu finally closed the door on progress towards a two-state solution within the 1967 borders and rejected any serious political solution” in the peace talks, said Erekat.

Those talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed spectacularly in April amid bitter recriminations on both sides.

They are supposed to meet again next month in Cairo for negotiations on a long-term truce after the 50-day Gaza war that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians — half of them Hamas and other gunmen, according to Israel — and 72 people on the Israeli side, 66 of them soldiers.

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