Palestinian Authority Angered by Lieberman Letter
The Palestinian Authority is incensed by a letter written by Foreign Minister Lieberman to the Quartet for the Middle East, which includes the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations.
The letter, dated August 20th and addressed to European Union Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, outlined the steps Israel has taken to advance the diplomatic process with the Palestinian Authority while simultaneously criticizing Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for hindering progress.
Lieberman wrote that Abbas's resignation coupled with new elections are necessary to bring in a government that will be able to advance the diplomatic process with Israel. Abbas has postponed PA elections that should have taken place in 2010.
“The Palestinian Authority is a despotic government riddled with corruption. This pattern of behavior has led to criticism even within his own constituency. Due to Abbas’ 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." Lieberman concluded the letter with hope that the diplomatic process will continue
Officials close to the Prime Minister have distanced themselves from the letter, in which Lieberman said that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is an "obstacle to peace".
Palestinian Authority officials severely criticized Lieberman’s letter, saying that it was provocative and interfered with internal Palestinian affairs. They claimed that while they might disagree with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, they would not demand his resignation, as it is against diplomatic norms.
Representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office have claimed that the letter does not represent the opinion of the government and was not written in coordination with the Prime Minister's Office.