Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) ruled out the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel in a speech at a cultural event on Saturday afternoon in the South Sharon Regional Council.

Ya’alon complained about Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejecting repeated overtures from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the international community rewarding his intransigence by recognizing Palestine as an non-member observer state in the United Nations. And last Friday, the PA officially changed its name to the State of Palestine, and Abbas officially signed his first decrees bearing that name.

“As far as I’m concerned, Gaza can call itself the United Islamic Republic and the Palestinian Authority can call itself the Palestinian Empire,” he said.

“There are those who are trying to market Abbas as relatively moderate, but his goals are the same as those of Hamas. He does not believe in an agreement based on pre-1967 lines and he is refusing to come to the negotiating table.”

The Labor Party’s No. 2 candidate, MK Isaac Herzog, attacked Ya’alon, saying that his statements “amplify the despair and lead Israel to a conflict with its back against the wall.”

Ya’alon also blasted former foreign minister Tzipi Livni for blaming the lack of a peace process on Israel, despite seeing the offers former prime minister Ehud Olmert made to Abbas that were not accepted.

Livni called for the renewal of the peace process at a cultural event Saturday in Jerusalem.

“The United Nations’ decision was just the overture,” the Tzipi Livni Party leader warned. “We are sitting on a volcano that is due to erupt in March, when the world will lay a diplomatic plan on the table. Either they will impose a plan on us, or we can initiate our own plan.”

According to a directive issued by Abbas last week, within two months, Palestinians will receive driving licenses, passports and identity cards stamped with the title “State of Palestine.”

The new documents will replace all previous documents, which since 1993 when the Oslo Accords were signed, have borne stamps of the Palestinian Authority. According to Abbas’s decision, these documents will be available not only to West Bank residents, but also to Palestinian refugees around the world and Gaza residents.

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