Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “executing” a 13-year-old Palestinian who earlier this week stabbed an Israeli boy in Jerusalem and said the Palestinians “will not agree to Israel’s policy of occupation.”
The PA president made the accusation during a speech broadcast live on Palestinian television, his first major address since the start of a wave of terror attacks against Israelis and spiraling violence between the sides.
Referring to an attack two days ago, in which Hassan Manasra, 15, and his cousin Ahmed Manasra, 13, stabbed a 13-year-old boy and 25-year-old man in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev, seriously wounding both, Abbas said Israel killed the two attackers in “cold blood.”
Hassan Manasra was shot to death when he charged at police with a gun, and Ahmed Manasra was seriously wounded after being hit by a car while fleeing and is being treated in an Israeli hospital.
Other Palestinian officials have also accused Israel of executing the teens in cold blood.
On Wednesday, Israeli police released footage showing the two brandishing knives and chasing a man before one is shot after trying to run at police.
Following the speech, in which Abbas also accused Israel of “attacking holy places,” the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused him of spreading “lies and incitement.”
“The boy he is referring to is alive and hospitalized in Hadassah after stabbing an Israeli child who was riding his bicycle. As Israel maintains the status quo at the Temple Mount, Abbas in his words of incitement is making cynical use of religion and thus bringing about more acts of terror,” the PMO said in a statement.
The address, heralded as an “important speech,” contained little new beyond what Abbas said over the past few weeks, including at the UN General Assembly earlier this month.
During the speech he said Israel’s “rejection” of peace and continued building of Jewish West Bank settlements were to blame for the current wave of violence, maintaining that he backs peaceful resistance against Israel.
Palestinians “will not agree to the continuation of the situation on our lands, nor to the policy of occupation and aggression of Israel and its settlers who are terrorizing our people, homes, trees, holy places and who execute our boys in cold blood, as they did with the boy Ahmed Manasra and other children in Jerusalem and other places,” he said. “We will continue our national struggle, which is based on self-defense.”
He said the Palestinians will not agree to change the status quo in Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and will not allow the Israelis to implement plans that would harm the holiness of the place. “Al-Aqsa is our right as Palestinians and as Muslims and no one else has a right there,” he said.
Much of the violence has been touched off by Palestinian claims that Israel intends to shift its policies on the site, though Israel has repeatedly denied any plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.
Abbas also said the PA would turn to the International Criminal Court at The Hague and sue Israel “for the executions of the Dawabsha family and the murder of the Dawabsha family and the boy [Muhammad] Abu Khdeir.”
The Dawabsha family was attacked with firebombs thrown at their house by Jewish extremists in late July. Three members of the family died and the crime is being investigated as a Jewish terror attack.
Abu Khdeir was a teen from East Jerusalem who was beaten and burned alive by three Israeli Jews last year, when Israel was fighting a war against Hamas and several weeks after three Jewish teens were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists. The suspects in his murder, an apparent revenge lynching, are being tried in Israel. Abu Khdeir was recognized by official Israel as a terror victim.
Other Israeli politicians also criticized Abbas words.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid called the speech “a miserable performance showing lack of leadership.”
“Instead of calming the situation and condemning the despicable terrorists who are trying to murder innocent Israelis, Abbas chose to mount a miserable performance showing lack of leadership and cowardice of the lowest level,” he said. “Terrorists should know that Israel will stand strong and fight terrorism anywhere, anytime and with great force. Whoever tries to harm us – their blood is upon their heads.”