Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned a fatal terror attack against worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning, as a senior member of his Fatah party justified it as a reaction to Israeli actions in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Abbas, who was blamed by Israeli leaders for inciting the attack, said in a statement that he also demanded an end to Israeli “provocations.”
“The Palestinian presidency has always condemned the killing of civilians on both sides, and condemns today the killing of worshipers in a house of worship in West Jerusalem,” a statement posted to the official Palestinian Wafa news agency said.
“It also condemns all acts of violence from whatever source and demands an end to invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque, to the provocations of settlers, and to the incitement of certain Israeli ministers,” the statement continued.
But Tawfik Tirawi, former chief of the Palestinian General Security in the West Bank and a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, told a radio station in Hebron Tuesday morning that the attack was “nothing but a reaction to the recent crimes of the occupation and the settlers in occupied Jerusalem and across the nation. The threats of the occupation against our people and the Palestinian leadership, represented by the president, will only increase our resolve in safeguarding our rights.”
His comments were published on Fatah’s official Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Islamic and left-wing Palestinian factions praised the attack.
In a message published on its official new website Al-Resalah, Hamas said the attack was “a quality development in fighting the occupation. We highly value the heroism of its operatives.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the attack on Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera as “heroic,” calling for more attacks of the same sort to “stop the occupation’s aggression against Islamic holy places.”
Gaza-based Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri jubilantly commented on Twitter that “Jerusalem has nothing but men who love martyrdom. The heroes of the knife are in Jerusalem. The heroes of the run-over [car attacks] are in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem men take revenge.”