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PA’s Erekat: Lieberman is a ‘Mafia Gangster’

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is a “mafia gangster,” Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat charged Monday morning.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/1/2011, 12:07 PM

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is a “mafia gangster,” Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiator Saeb Erekat charged Monday morning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Erekat was replying to a question on Army Radio concerning Lieberman’s previous statement that Palestinian Authority PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Israel it should wipe out Hamas. Erekat called Lieberman’s comments “shameful and despicable,”

Lieberman’s spokesman Yigal Palmor told Arutz Sheva, “We always knew Erekat was not a diplomat. Now we have scientific proof.”

During the interview, Erekat defended the Palestinian Authority’s breaking of the Oslo Accords by asking for and receiving membership in UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.)

The Oslo Accords prohibit Israel and the PA from taking such unilateral steps without negotiations, but Erekat argued that negotiations have been going on since 1993 and have not achieved the PA's aims.

“What harm do we bring to Israel by being a part of [UNESCO],” Erekat said. “Israel should welcome this. We [Israel and the PA] "share a land with a common history and culture."

He reiterated that despite the Obama administration’s vow to veto any United Nations Security Council recommendation for full membership for the PA, it will go ahead with its move in less than two weeks.

It is not clear if the PA has the necessary two-thirds support on the Council for a recommendation, which would force Obama’s hand to prevent the motion from going to the General Assembly for certain approval.