Dore Gold: The way it is now, peace talks won’t go very far

Foreign Ministry chief recalls witnessing 1975 terror attack in Jerusalem, whose perpetrator was recently honored by the PA

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold standing on Zion Square in Jerusalem, where he witnessed a deadly terror attack in 1975 (screen grab YouTube)
Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold standing on Zion Square in Jerusalem, where he witnessed a deadly terror attack in 1975 (screen grab YouTube)

Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold on Wednesday indicated that Israeli-Palestinians peace negotiations were doomed to fail as long as Ramallah continues to glorify terrorists.

In a video posted to the Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account, Gold also called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “tear down” a recently erected monument of a terrorist who carried out a deadly attack 41 years ago, recalling having witnessed the bombing when he was a student living in Jerusalem.

“The way it is now, we’re not going to be able to get very far in any kind of negotiation. Because negotiation requires a culture of peace and not a culture of death,” Gold says in the video.

“So I am hoping that Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the PA, who heads the Fatah movement, will tear down that monument.”

The PA recently unveiled a statue in the West Bank town of Ramallah to honor the “martyr” Ahmad Ibrahim Jbara, known in Israel by his nom de guerre Abu Sukar. On July 4, 1975, Abu Sukar together with Bassam Tbila carried out a terror attack in Jerusalem’s central Zion Square by exploding a bomb hidden in a refrigerator. Fourteen people were killed and 80 injured.

‘I was shopping innocently until suddenly I heard this loud explosion. I turned around and saw bodies strewn everywhere’

Gold was a 21-year-old student at the time, he recalled in the clip. “It was Friday and I was doing my shopping innocently until all of a sudden I heard this incredibly loud explosion. I turned around and I saw bodies strewn everywhere. Apparently there had been a terrorist attack. The Fatah organization had brought a refrigerator packed with explosives and placed it right across the street, in front of a hardware store.”

Standing on Zion Square, Dold said he recently learned of the statute honoring Abu Sukar. “That’s the education that the Palestinian Authority wants to give to Palestinian children?” he asks incredulously, calling on Abbas, who heads the Fatah movement today, to “tear down that monument.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also chided the PA for honoring the terrorist. “Abu Sukkar murdered 15 people by detonating a refrigerator filled with explosives on a busy Jerusalem street. Rather than dedicate a statue to a mass murderer, I ask that you consider honoring a champion of co-existence,” he said in a recent video addressing Abbas. “This will help educate future generations to love peace over war, compassion over violence. It will also help convince Israelis that they have a true partner for peace.”

In 1977, two years after carrying out the deadly attack, Abu Sukar was sentenced to a lifelong prison sentence but was released in 2003 as goodwill gesture to the PA before the Aqaba summit. He rejoined the Palestinian leadership, serving as an adviser to Yasser Arafat. He died in 2003 after suffering a heart attack.

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