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Israel's Lieberman calls for severing ties with PA

Aug. 7, 2011 5:16 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 8, 2011 9:38 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that Israel should cut all ties with the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The Palestinians are planning 'unprecedented bloodshed' after their United Nations statehood bid in September, Lieberman said, demanding that top Israeli officials move to break ties with their PA counterparts.

"The more they speak about non-violent action the more they are preparing for bloodshed," Haaretz quoted Lieberman as saying, despite a clear statement from PA security services spokesman Adnan Dmairi on Sunday which called for any September protests to be controlled and non-violent.

The foreign minister said that the West Bank government can't get "security coordination [with Israel] and also try IDF soldiers at the Hague."

But Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki denied any violent intent on the Palestinian side and accused Lieberman of seeking to foment unrest.

"The Palestinians don't need this kind of incitement just because they're asking for their rights," he told AFP.

"We believe one hundred percent that any kind of violence will reflect negatively against our demands," he said.

Lieberman is a controversial figure in Israeli politics, having proposed a variety of legislation targeting the Palestinian population of Israel, such as a proposed loyalty oath.

The Palestinian leadership has drawn up a plan to approach the United Nations in September seeking membership for a state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day war, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

The plan is firmly opposed by Israel and the United States, which has threatened to veto the membership attempt at the Security Council.

Israel insists that only direct negotiations can achieve a durable peace between the sides.

The Palestinians say their initiative does not contradict the possibility of new talks, but insist that they will not return to negotiations without any Israeli settlement freeze and a clear framework for new discussions.

Israel has occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem since 1967.

AFP contributed to this report
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