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Israel 'won't tolerate insults forever'

Jan. 20, 2011 9:24 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 22, 2011 5:17 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday warned that Israel would not tolerate ongoing Palestinian attempts to secure condemnation of Israel in the international arena.

Lieberman's remarks, in which he warned there was a "dangerous gap" in relations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, were made during talks with his French counterpart Michele Alliot-Marie.

"While Israel was approving another 5,300 jobs for Palestinians to work inside Israel last week, the Palestinian Authority was presenting a proposal to the Security Council condemning Israel for every possible sin," he said in comments released by his office.

He was referring to a proposal to increase the number of work permits for Palestinians which has yet to be approved by the Israeli cabinet.

"This gap cannot go on for ever and it will lead to a crisis in relations between the two sides," warned the sharp-tongued minister who heads the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party.

"Israel will not just sit and suffer criticism and insults forever."

Since the current Israeli government came to power in March 2009, Israel had given much but received very little back, he charged.

From Israel, Lieberman noted the Bar Ilan speech, where hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the need for the creation of a Palestinian state, Israeli efforts to ease restrictions an boost the economy in the West Bank and Israel agreeing to a 10-month partial freeze on settlement construction.

But on the Palestinian side, he said, there were attempts to secure condemnation of Israel in UN Human Rights Council, at the World Court in the Hague and in the UN Security Council, not to mention "the commemoration of terrorists by naming streets and squares after them in cities across the Palestinian Authority."

"Israel will not be able to allow a situation like this to continue," he warned.

He also lashed out at the Arab League, saying it was "working energetically towards the censure of Israel" and little else.
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