Harsh words. Abbas
Photo: AP
Ehud Barak
Photo: AFP

Abbas says Barak to blame for stalemate in talks

Israeli defense minister 'refusing to negotiate with Palestinian side,' Palestinian leader tells Jordanian reporters, adding 'Shalit has cost the Palestinian people more than 1,000 casualties'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has blamed Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak for stalling the peace negotiations.


"An (official) within the Israeli government is refusing to negotiate with the Palestinian side and is obstructing the advancement of the talks," Abbas said in a conversation with Jordanian newspaper editors, published Tuesday by the Al-Ra'i daily.


Only after being pressed by the editors did Abbas specifically mention Barak's name, reported another Jordanian newspaper, Al Arab Al Yawm.


'Hamas has looked to protects its leaders'

According to Abbas, the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were halted with the Benjamin Netanyahu's rise to power in 1996 and the hiatus lasted until he was replaced by Barak in 1999.


"Barak resumed the talks just two weeks before the end of his term at the Camp David summit, despite our demand to begin negotiations earlier in order to ensure their success," the Palestinian leader said.


"Despite not offering the Palestinians a concrete agreement at Camp David, Barak still accused the Palestinian side of stalling."


Referring to the current round of talks with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Abbas said "both sides are discussing the issues in detail, but a written agreement must be formalized if the negotiations are to succeed."


Abbas also had some harsh words for Hamas, saying "(kidnapped IDF soldier) Gilat Shalit has cost the Palestinian people more than 1,000 casualties and Palestinians are continuing to die because of the rocket fire (on Israel). What resistance are we talking about here? Do the rocket fire and suicide attacks constitute resistance?


"Seven thousand rockets were fired from Gaza, and they killed 10 Israelis; and all the while Hamas has looked to protects its leaders and not the Palestinian people…We asked Hamas to stop the pointless rocket attacks, which are doing more damage than good, in order to bring an end to the Israeli aggression and its siege of the Palestinian people," he added.


פרסום ראשון: 03.11.08, 15:39
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