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Erekat 'Furious' After Abbas Won't Accuse Israel of 'War Crimes'

Former PA negotiator lashes out at Abbas after PA Chairman rejects vote to take Israel to the Hague, says PA is Abbas's 'personal property.'
By Dalit Halevi, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 6/11/2014, 9:04 PM / Last Update: 6/11/2014, 9:38 PM

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Flash 90

Former Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's "soft" policies in the new "unity" government with Hamas, according to tapes leaked by the Awrak news agency.  

In the tapes, Erekat makes a series of furious remarks over Abbas's decisions, saying that Abbas views the government as his "personal property." According to Erekat, Abbas rejected a PLO majority vote Wednesday night that would have seen the PA turn to the International Criminal Court over Israel's actions over the past several days. 

Erekat claimed that Mahmoud Abbas' decision is a "mistake," stating that the vote would have labelled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a "war criminal" - preventing him from leaving Israel - and taken IDF commanders to trial for alleged "war crimes."

Erekat further implied that Abbas's actions, in his words, cost the PA their sovereignty, as such drastic moves could see the Arab-occupied Judea and Samaria recognized as a state by the international community.

"Palestine is not just for the Palestinians or people who live there, but it belongs to all Muslim Arabs," he added. 

He also said that Israel is "deliberately humiliating" Abbas, and urged the PA to take a "more aggressive stand." 

In April, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett noted that the PA's statehood bid would do more damage to the PA itself than to Israel, and urged Israel to take Abbas and Fatah to the Hague over war crimes - including supporting Hamas and inciting more terrorism against Israeli Jews. 

"Every year we renew a 'festival of threats': if we don't do what the PA wants, they will go to the UN, they will turn into a country and slam us at the Hague," Bennett said. 

"But it's time to change this concept," he declared. "This is not the PA's 'judgement day' weapon. The rifle is empty."