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Israeli premier's party criticizes Israeli president for his praise of Palestinian president

  • 85411776b8ca2a24250f6a7067007618.jpg

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Abir Sultan, Pool)The Associated Press

  • 9bff24dcb8c92a24250f6a7067005c5a.jpg

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, heads the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. Sitting left is Cabinet minister Moshe Kachlon, and Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser, right. (AP Photo/Abir Sultan, Pool)The Associated Press

  • 8042bae3b8c52a24250f6a7067003f0c.jpg

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, heads the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. Sitting left is Cabinet minister Moshe Kachlon, and Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser, right. (AP Photo/Abir Sultan, Pool)The Associated Press

Israel's president and prime minister are trading charges over making peace with the Palestinians.

President Shimon Peres told a summit of international ambassadors and diplomats Sunday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is a reliable peace partner. He said Israeli diplomacy must change "from an aggressive approach to a moderate approach of dialogue."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party and his hawkish election partner released a statement calling the Israeli president out of touch and labeling the Palestinian president a "peace rejecter."

Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

Netanyahu is expected to win Jan. 22 elections, and the hard-line bloc maintains a lead over dovish parties. The statement from Netanyahu's party said Peres' remarks in front of a diplomatic audience represent a political stance that encourages international condemnation of Israel.