Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on Thursday accused Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of not being concerned about a peace deal with 'Israel', preferring instead reconciliation with Hamas.
Lieberman claimed that recent developments in the Arab region, mainly Egypt, is extremely worrying, noting that the extremists forces are gaining ground in the region while Abbas is to trying to undermine Israel's legitimacy and isolate it internationally.
In a press conference, Lieberman described the planned meeting between Israel's deputy prime minister, Shaul Mofaz, and Abbas as a "waste of time" because Abbas is not a genuine partner of Israel.
In the past, when Kadima was led by Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli PM, there was a kind of agreement. "Olmert and Abbas agreed on dividing Jerusalem and Israel to retreat to the 1967 borders, but Abbas refused. Therefore, I am sure that the coming meeting is a waste of time," Israel's exterior minister explained.
He added that Abbas has less authority today than he had in the past and is seeking an "honourable exit for himself from this condition." Lieberman continued: "He [Abbas] thinks that a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State or reconciliation with Hamas would preserve his chair."
Meanwhile, tens of residents in the Bedouin village of Zarnooq in the Naqab (Negev) prevented Lieberman from entering their village yesterday (Thursday) during a tour organised by the extremist settler organisation, 'Raghafeem'.
During his subsequent press conference, Lieberman clashed verbally with the Arab Knesset member, Talab al-Sana, who attended the conference without being invited.
Al-Sana told Lieberman: "You came here to incite against the Bedouins; no one invited you". He continued: "We will not leave this place which faces legal problems caused by the person who visited it today."
Lieberman who became enraged described Al-Sana as a "representative of terrorist organisations" saying: "I will deal with you. You do not fight for the Bedouins but for the Syrian president. This is the problem of the Arab leaders in this country."
Witnesses of the exchange said Al-Sana responded shouting: "You, fascist, get out of here. Your natural place is behind bars." Then Lieberman threatened him: "I will deal with you and your fellow Arabs severely because you represent terrorist organisations. You will see how it would be done."