Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is not interested in reaching a peace agreement with Israel.
Speaking at a gathering of Yisrael Beytenu youth in Tel Aviv, MK Lieberman said that Abbas’s statement that he is willing to start negotiating with Israel is nothing but a ploy meant to cover up his real plan, which is to make another unilateral move at the United Nations.
"It's nothing but another step of defiance and incitement against Israel that will take place in the UN General Assembly in September," Lieberman said.
He added that Abbas will again make accusations against Israel and claim that it does not want peace, give another speech full of hatred against Israel as he does every year at the General Assembly, ask to join various UN agencies and apply for full membership at the UN.
"In order to carry out this process, Abbas knows he should first make a few moves to present himself as wanting peace so that he can be able to blame Israel," charged Lieberman.
On Monday it was reported that Abbas has caved in to pressure from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and has agreed to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Abbas reportedly told his associates that he would be willing to meet Netanyahu, but only for a limited time period in order to test the seriousness of the Prime Minister’s intentions to reach a peace agreement.
Ma’ariv reported on Tuesday that in order to help kickstart the negotiations, Netanyahu has agreed to release some terror prisoners who have been in jail since before the signing of the Oslo Accords and also pass a formal decision in the Cabinet freezing Jewish construction outside of the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria.
Abbas, reported the newspaper, has agreed in exchange to drop two of his preconditions on talks with Israel: that talks be based on the 1949 Armistice lines and that borders for a PA state be sketched in advance of the negotiations.
However, an unnamed senior Israeli official later said that Israel was unaware of any agreement by Abbas to give up his preconditions. The official said that Israel is aware, however, that Abbas is planning to attend the UN General Assembly in September and launch yet another unilateral move.
According to the official, Abbas is trying to "prepare the ground" for his unilateral move, and as such has expressed willingness to go along with Kerry’s efforts to resume peace talks for a limited time period.
Kerry, meanwhile, arrived in Jordan on Wednesday as part of his fifth trip to the region since taking office.