Barak and Lieberman
Photo: Flash 90
Barak: Lieberman's PA rhetoric harms Israel's interests
Defense minister says foreign minister's statements on Israel-PA relations impeding peace process

Defense Minister Ehud Barak criticized Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday, saying that his recent statements about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, are harming Israel's interests.


Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York City, Lieberman said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was hindering the peace process.


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The comment was made a day after the Palestinian president accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" in his UNGA speech.


"(Lieberman's) statements regarding the Palestinian Authority and its leader do not represent Israel's position and are harmful to Israeli interests," the defense minister stated.


According to Barak, in the absence of Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's rule in the West Bank, "Hamas would be ruling it.


"I intend to ask Prime Minister Netanyahu to call an urgent cabinet meeting on the Israeli government's policies regarding the PA," Barak said in a statement.


Israel's security and economy interest mandate more patience vis-à-vis the PA, Barak said: "Israel still has basic, key interests in regards to maintaining West Bank security.


"First, as a result of the effective operations by the IDF and the Shin Bet, but also as a result of the Palestinian security forces' operations and Abbas and Fayyad's financial interests," the statement said.



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