Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged Israel to topple Hamas in the Gaza war last year, then turned around and blamed Israel for war crimes.
According to Reuters, Lieberman raised questions over Abbas' fitness as a leader with whom Israel could make peace. "Over the past year, I witnessed (Abbas) at his best. In Operation Cast Lead, (he) called us personally, applied pressure and demanded that we topple Hamas and remove it from power," he said.
"A month after the operation ended, he filed a complaint against us with the International Court of Justice at The Hague for war crimes. Is that a partner?"
An aide to Abbas vehemently denied the allegation, accusing the Israeli government of trying to deepen the deadlock over U.S.-sponsored efforts to revive negotiations. "This is not true. It is a continuation of the (Israeli) campaign of defamation ... to create an atmosphere that would destroy any chance of salvaging the peace process," Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rdainah said.