Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz. Photo by Flash 90
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Strategic Affairs and Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the world's most anti-Semitic leader, AFP reported on Thursday.

"Since Ahmadinejad left the political stage, Abu Mazen [Abbas] is the number one leader in injecting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel poison," Yuval Steinitz said, at the Institute for National Security Studies conference at Tel Aviv University last Sunday.

"Under Abu Mazen, the level of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in the [Palestinian] Authority has reached new heights, where the bottom line is the destruction of Israel. As someone who denied the Holocaust in his youth, he today denies the very existence of the Jewish people and their right to their own state," he told the annual security conference, according to a transcript on the INSS website.

Abbas' spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudeina, responded to Steinitz's comments by accusing Israel of inciting against Abbas and calling on the United States to intervene.

"After serial Israeli incitement against Abbas, with the latest incident being Steinitz's comments, Netanyahu's government, as well as the U.S. administration, must take an official stance on this attack," he said.

"The Israeli army's killing of Palestinians, including Mohammad Mubarak Wednesday, is the natural progression from [Israel's] policy of incitement through its ministers and officials," Rudeina added.

Israel Defense Forces troops shot and killed a Palestinian near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday, after he opened fire on their patrol. No soldiers were hit.

A military source said the Palestinian fired 17 rounds out of a submachine gun toward the unit as it exited an army position outside of the village of Yabrud.