Steinitz: Abbas betrayed peace process with Hamas unity

May 22, 2011 14:19

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the Palestinians betrayed the peace process in their agreement with Hamas, who refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Steinitz said, adopted a contemptible strategy whose goal is to exploit the Oslo process in order to establish a Palestinian state without peace and without giving up the right of return signaling the end of the conflict, he told Israel Radio.

The finance minister also addressed tensions between Israel and the United States over US President Barack Obama's declaration that future borders of a Palestinian state should be based on 1967 lines. Steinitz called the reports of the disagreement, a "wild exaggeration."

This is not the first time there is a difference of opinion between the two countries, Steinitz added. Obama is a friend of Israel and there were many positive aspects to his speech for Israel.

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