Abbas: Bibi doesn't believe in peace

PA president says world must put pressure on new gov't; says any gov't must adopt two-state solution.

Abbas nazi 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Abbas nazi 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas charged on Wednesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not believe in peace, urging the international community to exert pressure on him to accept a two-state solution. "It's obvious that Netanyahu does not believe in the two-state solution and the agreements signed with the Palestinians and does not want to stop settlement construction," Abbas said. "Therefore, we must tell the world that this man does not believe in peace and as such we can't deal with him." Abbas said that he was nevertheless prepared to talk to representatives of the new government if he sensed that Netanyahu was willing to move forward with the peace process and accept the two-state solution. Abbas added that Netanyahu's plan to focus on boosting the Palestinian economy was insufficient as long as it doesn't have a political content. "The Palestinian issue is not an economic problem," he said. "This is, first and foremost, a political case." Fahmi Za'areer, a Fatah spokesman in the West Bank, also rejected Netanyahu's talk about improving the economy in the PA-controlled territories. "The right-wing in Israel is talking about the so-called economic peace to avoid fulfilling Israel's obligations under the terms of the Oslo Accords and other agreements," he said. "Any talk that does not include the principle of land for peace and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state will be doomed to failure." Za'areer said that the Palestinians were not afraid of the new right-wing government in Israel "because our people won't wait forever for the peace process to succeed." The Netanyahu government, he added, is not a partner to the free world or its values." Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip said that the Netanyahu government was an indication of the failure of the peace process. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian Authority negotiator, said it was clear from Lieberman's statements on Wednesday that the government is not committed to the US backed road map for peace. "So why do people blame Hamas" for not committing to previous agreements signed "when Lieberman said he is not committed?" he asked. "Hamas believes that there is no difference between one Israeli government and the other," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. "We have tried all the governments in the past. This new government reflects the racist and radical trend in Israeli society." Arab League chief Amr Moussa said that unless the Netanyahu government changed its tune, there would be no basis for a dialogue. "The new government is explicit in its refusal (of the two-state solution) and the Arab world got bored and tired and understood that all that happened was a lie and deception since Oslo," Moussa told Al-Jazeera. "Therefore it is a mistake to sit at the negotiating table without stopping the settlements" he added. "There must be Arab solidarity in confronting the Israeli position and any Western position that supports it." Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossam Zaki called Netanyahu's comments about granting Palestinians limited self-rule "unacceptable and demeaning." "The right of Palestinians to statehood has been enshrined in the UN charter and endorsed by the whole international community," he said. "To deny the Palestinians their right of statehood is basically like trying to hide the sun." Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.