Speaking Sunday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak slammed comments by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who criticized a speech by PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to the UN last week. Barak said that Lieberman's comments were “not representative” of the government's policy, and that they “hurt our interests. If Abbas does not rule in the PA, Hamas will rule,” Barak said.
Lieberman called the speech, in which Abbas blamed all of the PA's woes on Israel, a “spit in the face” at Israel. He said that Israel needed to respond sharply to the speech, especially in light of the fact that Abbas intends to again seek UN recognition of a PA state and full membership of the PA in the General Assembly. Among the accusations Abbas hurled at Israel in the speech was that Israel was running a “terror operation” against the PA, via Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, whom he called the “settler gang,” and that Israel was “choking” the PA's economy and population, especially in Jerusalem. “In recent years Israel has denuded the Oslo Accord of all meaning,” he said.