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June 18, 2019 10:12 am

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Says, ‘It’s Time for PA Leader Abbas to Go’

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Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan at a press conference for the foreign media in Bnei Brak, Israel, on Feb. 3, 2019. Photo: Flash90. – Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday urged the international community to take immediate action to oust Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, saying this was the only way to ensure the diplomatic process with the Palestinians moves forward.

Speaking at The Jerusalem Post conference in New York, Erdan lambasted Abbas over recent remarks in which the Palestinian leader said that even if Ramallah was on the verge of bankruptcy, the PA would continue paying the salaries of terrorists and their families.

“This is the number one priority for the Palestinians: encouraging and rewarding attacks against us,” said Erdan.

“Rewarding terror is so important to the Palestinian leadership that it’s cutting salaries and harming thousands of Palestinian families by refusing to accept the tax monies that Israel collects on its behalf, because we deduct the amounts paid to terrorists, as any normal and moral country would do, and as the US is doing through the Taylor Force Act,” he said.

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He further lamented the fact that the PA is sparing no effort to undermine US President Donald Trump’s economic summit in Bahrain next week.

Abbas, said Erdan, should pay the price for his intransigence.

“This time they’re really breaking a new record in living up to their reputation of never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. It’s truly unbelievable that the one leading the opposition to this effort is the Palestinian Authority. This is something that everyone must be made aware of. This is something that we all must speak out about. It’s time to say loudly and clearly: Abu Mazen [Abbas], who supports terror, incites murder, and promotes boycotts rather than coexistence, should exit the world stage and go home,” he said.

He further urged applying Israeli law to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, a move he called “legal, moral and logical.”

“These cities and towns are legal, including under international law, and there’s no reason that they should be discriminated against,” said Erdan.

“There is no reason that hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens need to live under Ottoman or British laws, just because Abu Mazen has chosen terror and a boycott of Israel over peace.”

He stressed the move would not affect the Israeli-Palestinian peace process if Israel were to have “a real partner” on the Palestinian side.

“Such a step will also help advance peace. It will deliver a clear message to the next Palestinian leadership that time is not on your side. We will not sit around and wait.”

The strategic affairs minister lauded the Trump administration for its efforts to advance peace in the Middle East.

“We need a deal, but a deal that will end a century of Palestinian Arab rejectionism,” he said. “We need a deal that will make the Palestinians finally move forward.”

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