Israeli FM: Palestinians Plan Unprecedented ‘Bloodshed’ Next Month

Posted August 7th, 2011 at 3:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is accusing the Palestinian Authority of planning unprecedented “bloodshed” next month, to coincide with its diplomatic bid to gain U.N. membership for an independent Palestine.

In comments to reporters Sunday, Lieberman said the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is organizing marches in which thousands of people will try to storm Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank. Lieberman warned that such protests will trigger violence that Israel has never seen before.

He offered no evidence to support his claim.

Palestinian officials denied Lieberman's accusation, saying violence would be counterproductive to their cause. Mr. Abbas has urged his people to join peaceful demonstrations in support of the U.N. initiative.

An Israeli parliamentary report issued last week predicted a low likelihood of Palestinian violence in September, but it recommended calling up some military reservists just in case.

Mr. Abbas is lobbying U.N. members to grant full membership to a Palestinian state based on the entire West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, areas that Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

Israel and the United States oppose the U.N. bid. They say Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are the only way to resolve borders and other core issues of the conflict.