Erekat criticizes Israeli official for remarks about Abbas
Published Saturday 12/01/2013 (updated) 13/01/2013 13:59
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO official Saeb Erekat criticized Israeli government officials on Saturday for derogatory remarks made against President Abbas.
"Israeli governmental officials are replaying the same disordered disc threatening the president because of his adherence to international legitimacy," Erekat told Ma'an, commenting on recent remarks made by Israeli vice prime minister Moshe Yaalon.
According to Israeli media, while lecturing in the South Sharon Regional Council in central Israel, Yaalon criticized Abbas' peacemaking credentials.
"Abu Mazen isn't different at all from Hamas. Meanwhile, some people in Israel try to promote Abbas as a moderate man, but in fact his goals are not different from those of Hamas, and he too does not believe in a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders," Yaalon reportedly said.
The Israeli vice PM went on to say that Abbas refuses to hold negotiations with Israel and is using the parameters of "land for terrorism" in peace talks.
Palestinians do not want to live next to Jews, he said, but instead want to live on their ruins.
In October, the Arab League called on UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and the international Quartet to respond to "threats" against Abbas by Israel's then foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Responding to a speech by Abbas to the UN General Assembly, Lieberman said the president was "the biggest obstacle to peace," and was using slander against Israel.