Prme Minister Ehud Olmert is facing criminal charges for supposedly accepting money from businessmen, but he is also under attack from another source as Palestinian Authority officials blast his latest comments as deliberate distortion of what is taking place in negotiations. Palestinians leaders are upset at the recent comment by Olmert that “significant progress” has been achieved in peace talks and claim the statement is a deliberate attempt to mislead the Israel public. “This is a big lie,” an
official told the Jerusalem Post. “The statement was issued by Olmert’s office even before President Abbas returned to Ramallah and it came as a big surprise to us. We still don’t know what progress he’s talking about.”
Perhaps, the statement was intended to divert attention from the criminal charges Olmert has to confront. As one Palestinian official noted: “If Olmert has problems with the police because of financial corruption, that’s his prblem. But, he should not use the pece talks as an excuse to divert attention from th police inquiry.”
There is fear and concern among Palestinian officials that Olmert may initiate a military operation in order to solidify his standing with Israelis. There is particular concern about a military venture in Gaza.