Abbas refusing to condemn terror surge, ‘not taking calls’ from world statesmen
PA leader said to fear Israel about to take punitive measures that will weaken him, furious about Quartet report that blasted Palestinian incitement
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had refused, as of Saturday night, to condemn the current surge in Palestinian terrorism, including the killing of a 13-year-old Israeli girl on Thursday and a father of 10 on Friday. He is also reportedly refusing to take calls from Israeli and world leaders who are seeking to encourage him to speak out.
As of Saturday night, Abbas had made no official statement in response to the killing of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, who was stabbed to death as she slept in her bedroom at home in Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, on Thursday morning, or the drive-by shooting on Friday afternoon of Rabbi Miki Mark.
A Channel 2 report on Saturday said numerous Israeli and world leaders had contacted Abbas, pleading with him in particular to speak out publicly in the case of Ariel, but to no avail. Abbas, said the report, is even refusing to take some of the calls.
He has also ordered media loyal to him in the Palestinian Authority to keep the terror cases out of the headlines.
The report said Abbas feels that the PA is growing weaker and losing control, and is concerned that the Israeli cabinet — which was meeting on Saturday night — is about to take punitive measures that will weaken him further.
He is also said to be furious with the international Quartet, which on Friday issued a much-anticipated report that predictably castigated Israel for settlement building but also, unexpectedly, issued withering criticism of incitement against Israel and the glorifying of terrorism by the PA.
“Many widely circulated images depict individuals committing terrorist acts with slogans encouraging violence,” the report states. Incitement to violence on social media, affecting especially young people, has increased since October 2015 (coinciding with the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism; RA), and is particularly affecting the youth, the Quartet further establishes.
The text notes that Hamas and “other radical factions” are behind the worst examples of incitement. “These groups use media outlets to glorify terrorism and openly call for violence against Jews, including instructing viewers on how to carry out stabbings.” But it also blames some “members of Fatah,” Abbas’s party, for having “publicly supported attacks and their perpetrators, as well as encouraged violent confrontation.” It cites a senior Fatah official who praised terrorists as “heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian.”
The PA has publicly renounced terrorism against civilians and commitment to non-violent resistance, the report notes. “Regrettably, however, Palestinian leaders have not consistently and clearly condemned specific terrorist attacks. And streets, squares and schools have been named after Palestinians who have committed acts of terrorism.”
The PA’s Saeb Erekat on Friday blasted the report’s authors. The document, he said, “does not meet our expectations as a nation living under a foreign colonial military occupation.” It “attempts to equalize the responsibilities between a people under occupation and a foreign military occupier,” Erekat protested.