The Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority (PA) if its president, Mahmoud Abbas, insisted on going ahead with his request for UN recognition of Palestine as a non-member state.
Israel's Channel 7 TV station reported close aides of Lieberman as saying that he had sent a strong message to Abbas through the EU chief of foreign affairs Catherine Ashton.
Meanwhile, other Israeli sources reported that Lieberman also asked EU officials to fix a definite time for general elections in the Palestinian territories in order to replace Abbas who was described as "an obstacle to peace." He also sent the same message to the leaders of the International Quartet.
Lieberman told the staff of the strategic affairs unit in his ministry that Abbas was in a "weak position" and the time had come to explore a "creative exit from the current situation." He emphasised that fresh elections in the Palestinian territories would produce a stronger leadership.
While calling for a Palestinian Spring, Lieberman said that his government has no problems with the new governments that emerged after the Arab Spring. "The time had come for the Palestinians to have their own spring and get rid of their reviled leader," he said.
In a related development, sources in the Israeli foreign ministry have confirmed that Lieberman had summoned Israeli ambassadors to the EU countries to a meeting in Vienna. According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the purposed of the meeting is to devise a plan to enlist EU support to undermine the Palestinian efforts at the UN.
On their part, the secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee, Yasser Abed-Rabbo, told local media in Palestine that his organisation will complete and present the proposal for a non-member state for Palestine this month.