Israel FM queries Abbas authority
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has questioned the authority of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in an escalating Israeli-Palestinian war of words, BBC reported.
Mr Lieberman said Mr Abbas "was not exactly legitimate" and was therefore in no position to make demands on the Israeli leadership.
A day earlier Mr Abbas had called him a bad choice as Israeli foreign minister.
The two sides have been unable to agree terms for restarting peace talks since the Israel government came into office.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in power since 1 April, on Sunday urged Mr Abbas to restart peace talks immediately.
"There is no reason Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and I should not meet, anywhere in this country, to advance the political process," Mr Netanyahu told the weekly meeting of his cabinet.
Mr Abbas has refused to meet Mr Netanyahu and on Sunday reiterated his stance in a radio interview that, for negotiations on the key issues to resume, there must be "a complete halt" to Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.
Separately in the Egyptian weekly, October, he said that Mr Netanyahu had backed himself into a corner on the Palestinian track, and he would face fierce opposition from Mr Lieberman if he tried to emerge from it.
Mr Abbas said things would be better if the former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, had been reappointed instead of the current incumbent.