Kuntar claims Abbas asked for Beirut meeting

Abbas aide denies the claim; revelation comes after PM tells Abbas that he was "upset" by meeting.

Olmert Abbas discuss 224.88 (photo credit: GPO)
Olmert Abbas discuss 224.88
(photo credit: GPO)
Freed Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar said on Tuesday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had requested the recent meeting between the two that has angered Israel. Kuntar said in a statement issued in Lebanon that the meeting last week in Beirut had been in response to a "direct request" by Abbas. An aide to Abbas, speaking on condition of anonymity, denied this, saying Kuntar had requested the meeting. Kuntar was convicted of murdering three people in a grisly attack in Nahariya in 1979. Israel traded Kuntar and other prisoners for the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in July's prisoner swap with Hizbullah. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert chastised Abbas for the meeting when he met the PA leader in Jerusalem on Sunday. Welcoming Abbas to his Jerusalem residence, and with the cameras on, Olmert said Israel was disappointed by the meeting and that Abbas's place was "not with the murderers." Abbas had not responded.