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Israeli, P.A. Officials in Verbal Row

Israel has a problem with the whole Palestinian people and not just with a specific leadership, said the Palestinian Authority’s (P.A.) Chief Negotiator ‘Saib ‘Ariqat.

‘Ariqat was responding to recent comments made by Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who called P.A. Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas a “one man show” unsupported by the Palestinian people.

Mofaz slammed the Palestinian leadership in an interview with Israel’s mass circulation daily Yediot Aharonot which was published on Friday.

Mofaz said he is not sure Israel could ever reach a peace agreement with the current Palestinian government.

He said ‘Abbas has achieved nothing so far and that a peace agreement “will have to wait for the next generation.”

‘Ariqat said he calls on Mofaz to respect a democratic foundation for the Palestinian people. “I’m telling him he always has a partner here,” ‘Ariqat said.