Abbas: Peace Talks With Israel Haven't Reached Dead End

Avigdor Lieberman responds to Palestinian president's remarks to German TV, saying Abbas is no partner for peace.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denied Saturday that peace talks with Israel have reached a dead end.

In an interview to German channel Deutsche Welle, the Palestinian leader said the talks have only just begun, and that there is still time to discuss various issues, according to a report on Israel Radio.

Abbas told the German channel he couldn't discuss the talks in detail, but said each side has discussed the proposal presented by the other side, Israel Radio said.

On Sunday morning, Yisrael Beiteinu leader MK Avigdor Lieberman responded to Abbas' remarks, saying that he is no partner for peace.

In an interview to Israel Radio, Lieberman said there is no point seeking a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians at the moment. Israel should focus instead on "economic and security cooperation with the Palestinians."

He said Israel must demand the Palestinians change their education system from the ground up, and added that Palestinian textbooks do not include maps of Israel or one word about the Holocaust.

Official Palestinian media is filled with anti-Semitic incitement and glorify suicide bombers, he said. Only after the Palestinians start educating the younger generation for peace, will real negotiations be possible, he added.

In another meeting in Germany, Abbas said the Palestinians would continue negotiating openly and with good intentions. He added that they want to create an atmosphere conducive to reaching an agreement within the nine-month alloted time frame, Israel Radio reported.

On Saturday, Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh called for the end to the divisions in Palestinian society in order to better confront the dangers of negotiations with Israel and any resulting agreement. Haniyeh said the peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel is a process void of substance that is taking place under U.S. pressure, and that Israel is leveraging the negotiations to better its international standing and cover its continued settlement construction.

Also on Sunday morning, Lieberman told Army Radio that Turkey's intention has been to humiliate Israel, not improve ties between the two countries, reiterating comments he made on Facebook on Saturday.

A Washington Post report last week claimed that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MT) gave Iranian intelligence the names of 10 Iranians who had been in contact with the Mossad, and that the move was ordered by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish daily Hurriet later reported that Israel may be behind the reports. “We see this media campaign as an attack and there might be an Israeli effort behind it," a Turkish intelligence source told the daily.

Lieberman said that "Turkey did not have the intention of improving relations with Israel, it had the intention of humiliating Israel." He added that in Turkey the recent reports were seen as "a victory for Islamic extremism and it really harms moderates – our potential allies."

"Even if we learnt to dance the hora, the Turkish leadership won't want to improve relations." He added that apologies such the Israeli appeasement of Turkey following the deaths of nine Turkish citizens during the 2010 Israel Navy raid on the Gaza flotilla had wide-reaching implications. "Next time, I suggest we rethink the issue," he said.

Ties between Israel and Turkey deteriorated due to the May 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara vessel, which was on its way from Turkey to the Gaza Strip. The ship was part of a flotilla aimed at breaking through a blockade Israel had placed on the coastal territory.

Abbas speaks at the UN General Assembly.Credit: AFP
Avigdor Lieberman attending a new year's toast at the Foreign Ministry. September 13, 2012.Credit: Michal Fattal

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