Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, of the far right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) Party, stated that Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, is an “obstacle to the peace process”, and added that should Abbas remain in power the peace process will fail to advance.His statements came during a session, at the Knesset, with members of his party’s parliamentary bloc. He also “denounced” Abbas for saying that the settler, who killed two Palestinians in the southern West bank city of Hebron two days ago, committed a cold-blooded crime.

Lieberman said that “this person (Abbas) who failed to reach an agreement with former Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and former Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, during the Annapolis conference in 2007, will not be able to reach a peace deal with the current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu”, the Palestine Press News Agency reported.

He added, “what Israel did over the last 24 hours was the prevention of the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers”.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank said that it cannot return to the negotiation table with Israel before Tel Aviv halts all of its violations against the Palestinians and stops the illegal construction and expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The PA said that Israel must clearly recognize the Palestinian right to statehood, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the future state, before peace talks can resume.

Israel and the United States have imposed financial sanctions on the PA in an attempt to force it to return to the negotiation table, without an Israeli commitment to halt its violations in occupied Palestine.

This is not the first time Lieberman has attacked Abbas and described him as an obstacle to peace. In October of last year, Lieberman said that Abbas “is the greatest obstacle to peace in the region”.