Following insistent Palestinian denials that US President Donald Trump shouted at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas about Palestinian incitement against Israel during their meeting last week, Abbas has conceded — in Arabic — that the story is true, according to a report by the London-based Qatari news site al-Araby al-Jadid.
Channel 2 News reported earlier this week that during their talks in Bethlehem last week, Trump yelled at Abbas and accused him of direct involvement in incitement against Israel.
“You tricked me in DC! You talked there about your commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me your involvement in incitement,” Trump was said to have shouted at a shocked Abbas.
The TV report said the outburst was followed by several minutes of stunned silence from the Palestinians, and that the meeting was very tense before the two sides managed to get back on track.
Palestinian sources denied the report, saying the meeting was comfortable and substantive.
According to Palestinian sources quoted by the Qatari site, however, Abbas told an executive committee meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization in recent days that his encounter with Trump was “uncomfortable.”
Abbas confirmed that the US leader expressed anger with him, accused him of inciting against Israel, and showed him videos that included one in which Abbas was recorded as saying, “We incite and the Israelis incite.”
Abbas said he then told Trump that the videos only showed selections which had been edited and taken out of context.
He said he told the US leader, “You have the CIA, ask them to analyze the film clips and you’ll discover that that they were taken out of context or fabricated with the aim of inciting against the Palestinians.”
Trump’s anger was the result of Israeli government incitement against Palestinians, Abbas claimed he told the US president, according to the sources.
On May 3 in Washington, at the first meeting between the two, Trump urged Abbas to stop incitement, crack down on terrorism, and “resolve” his government’s policy of paying stipends to terrorists and their families
Abbas, for his part, told Trump in their joint White House press conference that “we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”
In the wake of that claim, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Abbas for the remark, saying it was “unfortunately not true.” The PA, Netanyahu charged, “names their schools after mass murderers of Israelis and pays terrorists.”
Israel has accused the Palestinians, including Abbas’s Fatah party, of fanning hatred on social media and calling for violence against Israelis.
Palestinian officials have generally countered the claim by arguing that draconian Israeli measures and decades of occupation, not incitement, instill hatred and inspire terrorism.
A report released in April from the Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) group found that PA textbooks in first to fourth grades were demonizing Israel and glorifying “martyrdom.” The document cited an “alarming deterioration” in content since the previous study.
The issue of incitement has taken on increasing significance of late, as members of the US Congress have threatened to decrease US aid to Palestinians if PA-sponsored incitement is not curbed.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the Danish foreign minister had ordered a review of his government’s donations to Palestinian Authority non-governmental organizations, apparently following a request Netanyahu made to him during a meeting in Jerusalem last month to stop Denmark’s funding for Palestinian NGOs involved in anti-Israel incitement or promoting boycotts of the Jewish state.
On Sunday, the United Nations announced it had withdrawn support for a Palestinian Authority women’s center named for a notorious terrorist, saying the move was “offensive” and glorified terrorism.
The West Bank center was named after Dalal Mughrabi, who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre. Mughrabi and several other Fatah terrorists landed on a beach near Tel Aviv, hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Road and killed 38 civilians, 13 of them children, and wounded over 70.
“The glorification of terrorism, or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts, is unacceptable under any circumstances,” the UN statement said. “The UN has repeatedly called for an end to incitement to violence and hatred as they present one of the obstacles to peace.”
The UN move came days after Norway’s foreign minister condemned the PA for naming the center after Mughrabi, demanding the country’s name be removed from the building and that the funds it donated for its construction be returned.
In the al-Jadeed al-Araby report, the sources cited by the paper described the PLO executive committee meeting as tense and said Abbas exploded in anger in response to several members’ questions.
At the same meeting, Abbas reportedly slammed what he called a “conspiracy” by political rivals from within his Fatah party and from other organizations to exploit the recent hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in order to undercut his authority.