The Palestinian Authority reacted angrily Tuesday to statements from some Israeli officials criticizing PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The statements in question came from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett earlier in the day.

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Yediot Aharonot quoted Ya’alon as saying that “Abu Mazen [Abbas] is alive and well thanks to us. The moment we leave Judea and Samaria, he is finished. In reality, there have been no negotiations between us and the Palestinians for all these months – but rather between us and the Americans.

The only thing that can ‘save us’ is for [US Secretary of State] John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us in peace.”

Bennett, meanwhile, in an interview with Israel Radio, denounced Abbas as “no different than [his predecessor] Yasser Arafat.” The economy minister assailed Abbas for calling for a “million martyrs to march on Jerusalem” during a speech in Ramallah last Saturday.

Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, said in response that “Israeli incitement against President Abbas comes because of his adherence to the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Abu Rudaineh said the attacks on Abbas reflected the “depth of the rejection of the Israeli government to any real and viable peace.”

The spokesman called on the Israeli government to reassess its policies and abide by the requirements of the peace process. He also called for a full and immediate cessation of settlement construction, which “destroys the effort of the US administration.”

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