Palestinians File Complaint With UN Security Council Over Lieberman 'Incitement'

PA says Israel's Foreign Minister's remarks calling President Abbas the 'biggest obstacle' to peace constitute a clear threat against his life.

The Palestinian Authority has filed a complaint with the United Nations Security Council over the 'incitement' by Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The complaint cites an article published by Haaretz on Monday, in which Lieberman was quoted as saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the "greatest obstacle" to regional order, and that it would be a "blessing" if the Palestinian leader were to resign.

Lieberman at UN - AP - Sept. 23, 2011

"If there is one obstacle that should be removed immediately, it is [Abbas]," he said. "If he were to return the keys and resign, it would not be a threat, but a blessing."

The letter submitted on Tuesday to the Security Council states that "we unequivocally reject and object to such incitement, which we consider to be a clear threat against the life of President Mahmoud Abbas, whose commitment to peace is absolutely unquestionable."

The letter also refers to Israeli settlement construction, planned construction in Israel and the separation wall.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office on Tuesday, the PA's minister of civilian affairs, Hussein a-Sheikh, demanded that the Israeli government issue a formal apology for the FM's comments, saying that they represented a direct threat to Abbas's life.

"In the name of the Palestinian Authority, we condemn the statements made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, which carry explicit incitement against President Mahmoud Abbas," the letter read, adding: "We consider the comments to be a direct threat against a natural partner for peace."

On Monday, the EU chided Lieberman for his comments on Abbas, with European Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton saying that "the reported remarks of Israel's foreign minister ... are regrettably not helpful to create the environment of trust conducive to negotiations."

"The EU has consistently called for reconciliation behind President Abbas as an important element for reaching a two-state solution," she added.

In another apparent comment on Lieberman's remarks, President Shimon Peres offered public support to the Palestinian leadership, saying that "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are serious leaders who want peace and are working to prevent violence and extremism in our area."