The Palestinian Authority has submitted an official complaint to the United Nations Security Council following statements made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman against Mahmoud Abbas, Ynet learned Thursday.
The complaint was submitted Wednesday after Lieberman slammed Abbas once again in a letter to foreign envoys in Israel saying he is not a peace partner and that his demands from Israel are harsher than those set by former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
- Lieberman's onslaught on Abbas continues
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour handed a letter to Security Council President, Nigerian Ambassador Joy Ogwu. "We write to express our grave concern over the incitement by Israel's Foreign Minister against H.E President Mahmoud Abbas," the letter stated.
Lieberman. Reflects Israeli governmental policy?
"Avigdor Lieberman, who is the main coalition partner of Prime Minister Netanyahu, declared that President Abbas was the 'greatest obstacle' to peace. We unequivocally reject and object to such incitement, which we consider to be a clear threat against the life of President Mahmoud Abbas, whose commitment to peace is absolutely unquestionable. "
Mansour stated, on behalf of the PLO, that the Palestinians regard Lieberman's statements as Israel's official policy. "We voice our concern that these hostile declarations in fact reflect the true intentions of the Israeli government," he wrote. Mansour added that such threats must be directly confronted "for they foment hatred and violence towards the Palestinian people and exacerbate the already high tensions and deep mistrust between the sides."
Abbas and France's Sarkozy (Photo: EPA)
The Palestinians also condemned Israeli construction plans in areas in Jerusalem which are beyond the Green Line. They said that the Givat Hamatos construction plan does "not bode well for the peace process and reflects that Israel has no intention to stop this destructive colonization campaign."
Mansour concluded by stating that Israel must be held accountable for "acts of State terrorism, systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people," adding that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
Lieberman slammed Abbas twice this week. During a Foreign Ministry briefing on Monday he expressed hope that the Palestinian president leave office saying anyone else would be better than him. On Wednesday, he said that Abbas was working according to a personal agenda and not on behalf of the Palestinian people.
On Tuesday, the EU criticized Lieberman for his statements. EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said that Lieberman's statements were not conducive to an atmosphere which can lead to the resumption of peace talks. President Shimon Peres stressed Wednesday that Abbas is "a serious leader who seeks peace."
Abbas to discuss PA future with Hamas
Abbas himself said Thursday he plans to discuss the fate of the Palestinian Authority with his rivals Hamas next month. "The Authority is not an authority. People and Palestinian institutions are asking me about the benefits of the continuation of the Authority," Abbas said in comments to his Fatah party published by WAFA news agency on Thursday.
"We want to answer this question and therefore it will be one of the subjects we will discuss with our brother Khaled Meshaal, leader of Hamas," Abbas said, according to a text of the address that he delivered on Wednesday.
"The question we must answer is where are we heading?"
An Israeli state official said in response, "There is no reason for alarm over such idle threats. We are not engaged in bolstering or weakening Abbas. They have an interest to retain their political and economic power and they won't give that up so soon."
Reuters contributed to this report
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