Lieberman Accuses Netanyahu of Secret Talks with Abbas

YERUSHALAYIM -

Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Lieberman accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of carrying on secret negotiations with the Palestinians behind the banks of his Cabinet.

“There are several strange signs on the ground that I interpret as an attempt by the prime minister to exclude the Cabinet from a diplomatic negotiation with Abbas,” said Lieberman.

“Suddenly two weeks ago we saw that the prime minister is ready to free up his whole schedule for a meeting with Abbas. We see how in a miraculous manner all the arguments between the Israel Electric Corporation and the Palestinian Authority on the debts was solved, and suddenly all the power cuts disappeared,” Lieberman observed caustically.

The content of the negotiations, according to Lieberman, centers on the Palestinian demand that Israel curtail military incursions into Area A of Yehuda and Shomron, where the PA was granted security and administrative control under the 1994 Oslo Accords.

Politically, Netanyahu hoped that an agreement with the PA would smooth the entrance of the Zionist Camp into the government coalition. However, with Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog now under police investigation, prospects of a broader coalition have dimmed.

“The project of establishing a coalition ended, it’s over for now, and therefore it isn’t clear how Netanyahu will maneuver in the coming days,” Lieberman said.

Lieberman criticized Netanyahu’s maneuvering as diplomatically unsound.

“It isn’t good in terms of the message of the state of Israel. On one hand Netanyahu accuses Abbas of being the lead inciter, and on the other he is ready to clear his schedule to meet with him.”

“That is a confused and contradictory message and it isn’t convincing, not for the international community and not for citizens of Israel,” he said.