Palestinian Authority officials linked to PA President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israeli leaders of hoping for a Hamas victory in the October municipal elections, The Times of Israel reported.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman “are convinced we are going to lose and thus want these elections,” they said.
“They desire a victory for Hamas, as this would prove their allegations that there is no one to talk to” on the Palestinian side.
The officials stipulated that others in the Israel government do not feel that way. Israel’s intelligence community, the Shin Bet and officials coordinating with the Palestinians were “a different story,” and do not look forward to a Hamas electoral sweep.
However, they claimed that Liberman had provided a backhanded boost for the PA by lately branding him again as an obstacle to peace.
“Liberman’s accusations against Abbas actually strengthen him. The chief needed Israel to attack him rather than embrace him [in order to shore up support],” the officials said, “and Liberman delivered the goods.”