The Prime Minister’s office on Thursday denounced a condolence visit by a senior Palestinian official to the mourning tent for an attacker who tried to ram Israeli soldiers with his car, saying the show of support casts doubt on the Palestinian Authority’s intention to make peace with Israel.
Majed Faraj, the head of the PA intelligence service, visited the family of Muhammad Ibrahim Jibril, 24, in the West Bank village of Teqoa on Wednesday.
Israel has accused the Palestinian Authority, led by its president Mahmoud Abbas, of encouraging terror attacks by publicly honoring attackers and by paying salaries to their families if they are killed or jailed in Israeli prisons.
“Majed Faraj, head of PA intel, paid on behalf of Abbas condolences to the family of a terrorist who was killed while he tried to kill Israelis,” Ofir Gendelman tweeted on Thursday. Gendelman is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson to the Arab media.
“Faraj is also a PA peace negotiator. How can there be peace when the PA supports terrorism against Israelis & praises those who commit it?” he asked.
Majed Faraj,head of PA intel,paid on behalf of Abbas condolences to the family of a terrorist who was killed while he tried to kill Israelis pic.twitter.com/yyM0LMEaxN
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) July 13, 2017
Photos posted to the Facebook page of the Teqoa municipality showed that Jamal Muhaisen, a member of the Fatah Central Committee also visited the mourning tent. Abbas is also the head of Fatah, the political party that dominates the PA.
On Monday afternoon, Jibril attempted to drive his car into a group of soldiers, lightly injuring one of them, as they manned a roadblock in the area.
After crashing his car into the guard rail, the assailant then tried to stab the soldiers before he was shot dead by the troops, according to the IDF.
Last month the Knesset approved in its preliminary reading a bill that would cut funds to the PA over salaries paid out by Ramallah to convicted terrorists and their families.
The proposal would see Israel cut around NIS 1 billion ($285 million) from the annual tax revenues it collects for the Palestinians and hands over to them — equivalent to the amount that Ramallah pays to terrorists and their families, a practice Israel and the international community have attempted to end.
Israel transfers about NIS 460 million ($125 million) a month, or NIS 5.4 billion ($1.5 billion) a year, to the Palestinian Authority in tax and customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports. The transfers are a key revenue source for the cash-strapped Palestinian government. Israel has withheld payment in the past over political disputes.
The proposed legislation says that in 2016, the Palestinian Authority paid out some NIS 1.1 billion ($303 million) in stipends and other benefits to the families of so-called “martyrs” who lost their lives during attacks against Israelis and to Palestinian prisoners serving time in Israeli jails for security offenses.
According to Palestinian law, Palestinian security prisoners serving time in Israeli jails and families of assailants killed while carrying attacks against Israelis are eligible to receive stipends and other benefits.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.