Lieberman: Palestinian PM Does Not Deserve Any Goodwill Gestures

Foreign minister slams Israel's plan to transfer 84 bodies of terrorists to Palestinian Authority, says Israel also has unilateral moves in response to Palestinian UN bid.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday slammed Israel's plan to transfer 84 bodies of terrorists to the Palestinian Authority, saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas does not deserve any goodwill gestures.

"I do not think Abbas deserves any kind of gesture from Israel," Lieberman said following a meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

abbas netanyahu - AP - September 15 2010

Israel has recently announced its intention to transfer 84 bodies of Palestinian terrorists to the PA as a goodwill gesture, but has refused to include those of terrorists who committed serious suicide bombings on Israeli civilians.

"Whoever looks at the steps Abbas is taking right now, can see these are destructive, despicable steps against Israel," Lieberman warned. "It begins in his attempt in the Hague to accuse IDF officers of crimes during Operation Cast Lead, which is his personal initiative. The same goes for his campaign for unilateral recognition which he is also personally leading. So he does not deserve any kind of gestures, but on the contrary."

Lieberman also stressed that the Palestinians' plan to seek unilateral recognition will lead to a unilateral move on Israel's part as well, explaining that the Foreign Ministry has prepared a number of options for unilateral moves.

The Foreign Minister also commented on the diplomatic crisis with Turkey, saying Israel has no interest in continuing the conflict. "We support steps to normalize ties with them – we do not have a territorial conflict with them and we are ready for a compromise."

Lieberman stressed, however, that Israel will not apologize to Turkey, which would constitute humiliation. "The national honor of Israel, which has realistic significance in the Middle East, cannot be harmed."