Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas finally took off the mask and formally refused Tuesday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz broke the news to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in an evening speech.
Earlier this week, the State Department confirmed that Kerry and Abbas were set to meet in London. Apparently the Secretary became desperate enough to come back to Israel for another attempt at reviving the dead-on-arrival “framework talks.”
He even offered to travel to the PA capital of Ramallah. But Abbas rejected the offer, leaving Kerry to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
“Abbas rejected Kerry’s framework and refused to meet him .. Kerry flew back the next morning without any meeting,” Steinitz told his audience.
“No one should tell us that we need peace in order to survive, exist and flourish,” he said. “We will survive. Israel will survive as a democratic Jewish state whether our neighbors will finally agree to accept it and make peace with us or not.”
He added that Abbas had always said he would never recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state – just as the Hamas terrorist organization that controls Gaza has as well. Last month Abbas signed a deal with Hamas to create a new Palestinian Authority unity government.
Inasmuch as Hamas is formally committed to Israel’s destruction and is backed and funded by Iran, the move effectively ends any option for peace with the PA at this time.
IDF forces have beefed up their lines along the roads in Judea and Samaria, particularly along Highway 60, where the number of road terror attacks on Israeli motorists has increased dramatically over the past year.