Analysis: Will the Real Pal. Authority PM Stand Up?

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is known for his calm demeanor and diplomatic skills.

But his behavior in New York on Tuesday with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was far from calm or diplomatic.

Fayyad stormed out of an Ad-Hoc Liasion Committee meeting when Ayalon insisted the statement from the meeting include "two states for two peoples" rather than just "two states," according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

"If the Palestinians are not willing to talk about two states for two peoples, let alone a Jewish state for Israel, then there's nothing to talk about," Ayalon said.

"Israel will not accept an all or nothing approach or any ultimatums or preconditions," he said.

"If the Palestinians mean, at the end of the process, to have one Palestinian state and one bi-national state, this will not happen," the deputy foreign minister said.

Echoing earlier statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ayalon said PA leadership must convey the concept to their constituency in Arabic.

"I don't need the Palestinians to say Israel is a Jewish state in Hebrew. I need them to say it in Arabic to their own people," Ayalon said.

According to the report, Fayyad also snubbed President Shimon Peres while seated next to him at the meeting.  Fayyad refused to shake hands or talk with Israel's president.

Tuesday wasn't Fayyad's first provocative incident against Israel.  Last May, he invited the press to photograph him burning Israeli-made products from Judea and Samaria in the Arab town of Salfit.

Amid calls of incitement against Israelis, Fayyad ordered PA security forces to confiscate and destroy all Israeli-made products found in cities and towns under PA control, the Yesha Council reported.

The Yesha Council is an umbrella organization representing Jewish Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

Fayyad, 58, is well-liked in the West.

After earning a doctorate in economics at the University of Texas in 1986, he remained in the U.S., working for the World Bank's International Monetary Fund from 1987 until 1995.

He then served as the PA's IMF representative until 2001, when the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat appointed him finance minister.

Following the bloody military coup in June 2007, which left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip, Fayyad replaced deposed Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh as prime minister.

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