FM denies threatening coalition over Palestinian UN bid

Lieberman: When Israel is going to UN, there's no place for coalition infighting; says there won't be another settlement freeze; denies threatening to attack Turkish warships; Barak calls establishment of Palestinian state "legitimate."

By JPOST.COM STAFF, GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
September 21, 2011 09:00
2 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman [file]

Foreign Minsiter Avigdor Lieberman 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Uriel Sinai)

 
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied a report published in 'Yedioth Ahronot' Wednesday that said he threatened to break up the coalition if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not punish the Palestinian Authority for its United Nations statehood bid.

He said that in a time when Israel is going in front of the United Nations, that there is no room for coalition squabbling, speaking in an interview with Army Radio from New York Wednesday morning.

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'Barak: Establishment of a Palestinian state is legitimate'

The foreign minister did, however, say that in relation to any renewed peace talks with the Palestinians, that there will not be another settlement building freeze, "not even for another day." He called on Palestinians to return to negotiations without any preconditions.

Last month, Lieberman came out in favor of scrapping the Oslo Accords if the PA went through with the move, and ending all cooperation with the PA.

Addressing Israeli diplomatic efforts to prevent Palestinians from being accepted as a full member-state in the United Nations Security Council, Lieberman said that "for the first time," Israel has a chance of stopping the process without the help of a United States veto.

Lieberman also denied saying that Israel would attack Turkish warships if they were dispatched near Israeli waters, which the 'Yedioth' report cited him as saying.

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Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday night said that the establishment of a Palestinian state is "legitimate," and called on the Palestinians to immediately return to the negotiation table without preconditions, he said in an interview with CNN, Army Radio reported.

Discussing peace negotiations, the defense minister said that "compromise will be painful, but I do not believe that it is impossible," according to the report.

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