Lieberman: Abbas UNGA speech was incitement

Foreign minister says Palestinian Authority has ignored Israeli initiatives and gestures; Livni calls on Netanyahu to renew peace talks.

September 23, 2011 20:20
1 minute read.
Lieberman listens to Obama speak at UNGA

Lieberman at UNGA R 311 . (photo credit: Reuters)

Foreign Minster Avigdor Lieberman said Friday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's address to the United Nations General Assembly was a "speech of incitement."

Speaking with Channel 2 news, Lieberman said that Israel had no choice but to press ahead "without paying attention, and without making threats."

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The foreign minister defended Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government, saying this administration has offered initiatives to the Palestinians since "day one."

He said that Netanyahu offered a two-state solution, stopped settlement construction for 10 months, removed checkpoints, and gave assistance to the Palestinian economy.

The Palestinian Authority, Lieberman concluded, had ignored these gestures.

Abbas spent much of his speech devoted to detailing how settlements have scuttled the peace process.

Lieberman also noted that it was "important" to see what was happening "on the sidelines" during Abbas's speech.

He noted that terrorist groups were present in the General Assembly, and the Untied Arab List-Ta'al MK  Ahmed Tibi was sitting with the Palestinian delegation applauding during Abbas's address.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said that Abbas had clearly enlisted world opinion behind his cause to the detriment of Israel's international standing.

Following Abbas's speech Livni told Channel 2 that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must now work to get world opinion behind Israel.

Livni said that Netanyahu must work to renew negotiations and not merely speak at the United Nations in order to advance Israel's interests.

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