Netanyahu: Water Poisoning Claims Prove Abbas No Peace Partner

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the press at the scene of a shooting outside Max Brenner restaurant in Sarona Market on June 8, 2016 in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Lior Mizrahi/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: Ahead of his trip to Rome for talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s recent address at the European Parliament again proved he was an unsuitable partner for pursuing peace.

Abbas last week told European lawmakers in Brussels that an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem would end global terrorism, and repeated a debunked hoax story claiming that local rabbis had called for poisoning Palestinians’ water supply. Admitting the claim was “baseless,” Abbas on Saturday apologized and walked back the water poisoning allegation.

“Abbas again last week proved to the entire world that he is not interested in direct negotiations with Israel,” the prime minister said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.

“Worse, he also spread abhorrent lies about the State of Israel and Judaism. True, he quickly apologized, a halfhearted half-apology, but the things he said there were in keeping with what he has said about us on other occasions, including at the UN General Assembly,” Netanyahu said.

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