Liberman accuses Abbas of inflaming conflict between Israel and Hamas

The defense minister said that several steps were being taken to address these concerns, although he would not elaborate.

Abbas and Liberman (photo credit: REUTERS)
Abbas and Liberman
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman hit out at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday night, accusing him of generating tension between Israel and the Palestinians, and seeking to provoke a conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Israel.
Liberman said that following the attempted assassination of PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza last week, Abbas had stepped up efforts to punish Gaza and increase tensions between the Hamas-run enclave and Israel.
“Abu Mazen [Abbas] is going to stop all financing for Gaza, including electricity, water, health services, wages, and he is taking advantage of the attack attempt on Hamdallah’s motorcade,” Liberman said in an interview on Channel 2 News on Saturday night.
“The situation [with Gaza] is indeed tense, we are witness to Abu Mazen’s efforts to bring about a direct conflict between us and Hamas. He is trying to make the situation worse, because at the moment when he stops all payments, including for humanitarian requirements, it is clear that it will make things worse.”
The defense minister said that several steps were being taken to address these concerns, although he would not elaborate, calling the situation complicated.
And Liberman also renewed his call for the death penalty to be imposed on Palestinian terrorists who commit “severe” attacks, speaking following the terrorist attack on Friday afternoon in which two soldiers were killed and two others wounded in a car-ramming attack close to Mevo Dotan in the West Bank.
Liberman blamed ongoing incitement in the Palestinian media and the generous payments made by the PA to the families of incarcerated terrorists as serious contributing factors to terrorist attacks.
He said that the man responsible for Friday’s attack was someone who, like the rest of Palestinian society “is exposed to incitement 24 hours a day, including in all the official Palestinian media, and he knows his family will get paid as much as NIS 10,000 a month [when he is in prison].”
Liberman said he was now advancing legislation to deduct the money paid by the PA to all convicted terrorists in Israeli hails from the tax money transferred to the PA.
He also called on the government to approve Yisrael Beytenu’s death-penalty-for-terrorists bill, saying that if potential terrorists knew they could be subject to capital punishment it would serve as a serious deterrent.
Following Friday’s attack, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said: “As long as the Palestinian Authority continues to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to terrorists who kill Israelis, we will continue to see such heinous attacks.
“The international community must condemn this hateful act of terror and demand that the Palestinian leadership finally put an end to the despicable practice of ‘pay to slay,’” said Danon.
Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, had already canceled the Israeli work permits enjoyed by the family of the terrorist.
The extended Kabha family held 97 permits to work and trade in settlements and within the Green Line.
Daniel J. Roth in New York contributed to this report.