August 22, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian leadership on Wednesday slammed Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's call for the removal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"Such statements amount to incitement for physical disposal of President Abbas," said Saeb Erekat, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee.

Erekat added that Lieberman is conducting a campaign similar to that one which preceded the death of President Yasser Arafat in 2004.

On Tuesday, Lieberman sent a letter to the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers, asking them to press for Palestinian elections to replace Abbas, adding that the Palestinian leader has become an obstacle to peace. The Quartet comprises the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

Erekat called on the Quartet to condemn Lieberman's remarks, shouldering Israel the responsibility for Abbas's safety. He added that Israel was to blame for the failure of the peace process " because it chose settlements instead of peace."

The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations broke down in 2010 over a dispute on the resumption of settlement building in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Abbas said that Lieberman's letter was "contributing in creating a state of violence and instability."

The spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rdineh, said also that Lieberman was meddling in the internal Palestinian affairs.


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