Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alonFlash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon hit back at Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas Saturday night, after Abbas gave an incitement-laced speech at the UN General Assembly blaming Israel for "war crimes" and "genocide" during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

"Through his speech at the UN, Mahmoud Abbas proves for the umpteenth time: this is not a leader who wants peace and the advancement of his people's lives, but a person who distributes lies, incitement, and hate speech against Israel," Ya'alon stated Saturday. "Mahmoud Abbas is not a man of peace, and is not really interested in an agreement with Israel, which means recognition of the Jewish national homeland." 

"Time after time, Mahmoud Abbas goes on to deceive the international community, to throw at Israel false and racist accusations out of the hope that threats, pressure, and lies will scare us and make us acquiesce [to his demands]," Ya'alon continued.

Ya'alon implied that Abbas's speech was particularly grave, and may have jettisoned future plans to renew peace talks. 

"He has no partner for a political agreement - which is essential to end the conflict - and we will therefore not compromise the security of Israeli citizens," Ya'alon said, referencing plans to make a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. "In every situation, we are responsible for our own destiny and our own security, and we will be in the future." 

Ya'alon concluded by blasting Abbas for "not really coming to terms with our own existence" and added that the claims "are detached from reality." 

Abbas's speech has garnered equally strong reactions from the US - which called the tirade "offensive" - and from Israeli MKs across the political spectrum

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed earlier Saturday to defend Israel's position to the UN and Washington before his US visit Sunday, and to "refute in the names" of the citizens of Israel "the lies and slander (spoken) about their country."