Israel’s Foreign Minister says Abbas should be tried for supporting terror. Ramallah accuses Liberman of advocating the assassination of PA president.
By HERB KEINON
The war of words between Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reached new heights over the weekend with representatives from each side saying the other should be charged with war crimes at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
On Friday, the PA charged that Liberman’s recent statements calling for Abbas’s ouster constitute incitement and said that he should be prosecuted in international courts for extremism.
According to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency, the PA Information Ministry charged Liberman of crossing “every red line in his continuous incitement against Abbas,” and accused him of calling for the assassination of Abbas.
The ministry said that Liberman should be charged at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, calling on the EU, US and UN to take action against his “continuous incitement.”
Sources in Liberman’s office responded by saying that “the only way the Palestinians should go to The Hague are as defendants for war crimes that were carried out for years against Israeli babies, children, women and men through shocking terrorist attacks that the current government – from Abbas downward – supported, encouraged, funded and continue to fund and glorify today.”
Liberman has said repeatedly in recent weeks that no diplomatic progress is possible with Abbas at the helm of the PA.
Approximately two weeks ago, he sent a letter to the Mideast Quartet members – namely the EU, the UN, the US and Russia – calling for elections to be held in the Palestinian Authority and the selection of a “new, legitimate, hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership.”
“Due to Abbas’s weak standing, and his policy of not renewing the negotiations, which is an obstacle to peace, the time has come to consider a creative solution, to think ‘outside the box,’ in order to strengthen the Palestinian leadership,” Liberman wrote.
He accused Abbas of waging “diplomatic terrorism” against Israel.
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh issued a statement saying his remarks were “incitement for violence and killing.” Liberman’s letter was sparked by a letter the PA sent the EU in July entreating it not to upgrade relations with Israel, and blaming Jerusalem for a litany of crimes and misdeeds.
The Prime Minister’s Office distanced itself at the time from Liberman’s call to replace Abbas.
On Thursday, Liberman slammed a speech PA Foreign Minister Riad Maliki gave at the Non-Aligned Movement Conference in Tehran as something that Joseph Goebbels could have written.
Maliki said Israel had stepped up military attacks against Palestinians and the sources of their livelihood.
“To the military attacks have now been added violent, provoking and inciting attacks by settlers through organized and systematic terror, which recalls the bloody events taken by the settler and armed gangs – like the Hagana and others – during the Nakba in 1948.”
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=283488