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Monday, August 8, 2011

Israel's Liberman Says Palestinian UN Bid Will Lead to Bloodshed

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he plans to demand that the government sever all ties with the Palestinian Authority in light of what he termed the PA's growing anti-Israel activity in various international forums.

At a briefing for journalists in the Knesset, he also accused the Palestinians of preparing for "bloodshed the likes of which we've never seen before" after September's expected United Nations vote to declare a Palestinian state.

The PA is stepping up its efforts to try to indict senior Israeli officers at the international court in The Hague," Lieberman said. "I will demand that the prime minister and the Octet [forum of eight senior ministers] sever all ties. Not treasury officials, not the Water Authority, not Foreign Ministry officials. It's impossible both to accept security coordination and to indict Israel Defense Forces soldiers in The Hague."

Moreover, he charged, while senior PA officials say the protests they plan in September will be nonviolent, they are in fact preparing for violence. The PA has been preparing detailed plans for demonstrations likely to spark conflict with Israeli soldiers, he said, down to the number of buses needed to transport demonstrators to army roadblocks in the West Bank - where friction with soldiers would be almost inevitable.

"The PA is planning bloodshed the likes of which we've never seen before," he said. "The more they talk about nonviolent activity, the more preparations there are for bloodshed. When you prepare a march of tens of thousands of people who will storm checkpoints and pass through without being checked, everyone can imagine what would happen if 30,000 or 40,000 people tried to pass through a checkpoint by force. The Palestinians are planning this in great detail."

Last week, Haaretz reported that the PA has instructed its security forces to prevent demonstrators from reaching places where friction with Israel is likely, such as checkpoints or settlements. But Lieberman said he thinks such assessments are flat-out wrong.

Liberman said today that the Palestinian Authority is planning "unprecedented bloodshed," Liberman's spokesman Tzachi Moshe said in a telephone interview. "They are going to send waves of people to storm roadblocks," Liberman said, according to Moshe.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for peaceful "popular resistance" against Israel at the time of the UN annual meeting in September when he will seek recognition of Palestine as an independent nation. Liberman predicts those demonstrations will turn violent, Moshe said.

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has indicated it will veto any statehood resolution in the UN Security Council, saying the move will undercut efforts to restart direct Israeli-Palestinian talks and jeopardize U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.

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