Palestinian official accuses Israeli PM of inciting against Abbas
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu incited against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and denied his government's acts on the ground, a Palestinian official said Monday.
"We strongly condemn this provocative statement that shows the continuation of Netanyahu's campaign against President Abbas and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA)," said Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator, Xinhua reported.
Erekat was referring to a statement Netanyahu's office issued Sunday, which attacked Abbas for saying that Israel has been working to erase the Arab, Muslim and Christian character of Jerusalem. Abbas was talking at a conference to support Jerusalem in Qatar.
Netanyahu's statement described the words of Abbas as "a harshly inflammatory speech from someone who claims that he is bent on peace." It added that "time has come for the Palestinian leadership to stop denying the past and distorting reality."
The statement "denies the facts that Israel builds and expand settlements, making arrests, assassinations, incursions and closure," said Erekat.
Jerusalem has been a difficult issue in peace negotiations which stopped in 2010. Netanyahu's statement reiterated that the city will remain the central capital of Israel, refusing Palestinian demands to share it.
Israel occupied Jerusalem in 1967. The Palestinians want its eastern part, which includes the Old City, as a future capital.