Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas. (Hadas Parush/Flash90) (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas
Avigdor Liberman

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

In a meeting with Israeli Jewish and Arab regional council heads from the Galilee, Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas declared he would judge newly-appointed Defense minister Avigdor Liberman by what he does and not by what he says or has said in the past.

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas responded on Tuesday to the appointment of Avigdor Liberman as Israel’s Defense Minister by saying that he does not judge people based on their party affiliation nor even what they say, but only based on their actions to promote peace.

Abbas spoke at the PLO headquarters compound in Ramallah during a meeting with Israeli Jewish and Arab regional council heads from the Galilee, Israel Radio reported.

He added that if Liberman is saying he supports the two-state solution, nothing will stop the Palestinians from opening a dialogue with him.

“If Liberman really means it, the Palestinians will forget that he accused them of being terrorist diplomats, and will judge him only based on his future actions,” Abbas concluded.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Liberman said he supports a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians after he was sworn in as defense minister on Monday.

In the meantime, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov applauded Netanyahu and Liberman for their stated support of the two-state solution and the revival of Arab peace negotiations.

“I welcome yesterday’s statements by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the newly appointed defense minister on the Arab Peace Initiative (API). This can help advance negotiations on achieving a two-state solution,” Mladenov said in a statement, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

“The Middle East Quartet (the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States) has repeatedly emphasized the significance and importance of the API with its vision for a comprehensive settlement of the conflict and as an opportunity for building a regional security framework,” he said.

“This opportunity should not be missed and must be followed up with concrete and timely action.”

By: United with Israel Staff