Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called on the international community to condemn PA President Mahmoud Abbas for “glorifying terrorists and murderers” in hailing the would-be assassin of Rabbi Yehuda Glick as a “martyr” earlier this week.
In a letter sent to foreign ministers around the world on Wednesday, Liberman also linked the PA leader’s rhetoric to the light rail attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday — in which a Border Police officer, Jedan Assad, was killed and up to a dozen people were injured — arguing that “Palestinian militants interpret President Abbas’s encouragement of terrorism as a signal to heighten attacks on Israelis.”
Abbas sent a condolence letter to the family of Glick’s shooter on Saturday in which he wrote: “With anger, we have received the news of the vicious assassination crime committed by the terrorists of the Israeli occupation army against [your] son Mu’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who will go to heaven as a martyr defending the rights of our people and its holy places.”
Glick, a right-wing Temple Mount activist, was shot by Hijazi outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in central Jerusalem on the night of October 29, according to police.
Liberman charged that Abbas’s letter “serves to encourage and incentivize further acts of violence against Israelis,” and “turns the foundations of law and order and human rights on their head.”
As “chilling proof” that Abbas’s rhetoric drives terrorism, Liberman continued, “even as I write these words, another Palestinian terrorist has plowed into a group of Israelis as they waited at a Jerusalem light-rail station, killing at least one person and wounding ten.”
‘A society in which cold-blooded murder is revered by the head of state is not one that can be expected to pursue peaceful coexistence’
Liberman insisted that the PA leader’s comments, as well as his “support of terrorism and pursuit of unilateralism,” were “a continuation of his long-standing policy of deliberately foiling any chance of arriving at a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”
The foreign minister added that the matter was of “particular concern at this juncture,” as the Palestinians were drafting a statehood resolution to present to the UN.
“The Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for glorifying terrorists and murderers to ensure that its conduct is in accordance with accepted international norms. A society in which cold-blooded murder is revered by the head of state is not one that can be expected to pursue peaceful coexistence. Such a ‘terroracracy’ can lead only to increased conflict and bloodshed.”
“I am confident that a strong, unified international voice of condemnation will send a powerful signal to the Palestinian leadership which can only serve to advance the cause of peace,” Liberman concluded.
The foreign minister’s remarks echoed those issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett in response to the light rail terror attack. Netanyahu said the terror attack was the “direct consequence of Abu Mazen’s [Abbas’s] incitement and that of his Hamas partners.”
Bennett, meanwhile, said Abbas was the “driver of the death-car in Jerusalem, and the terrorists are just his messengers.”
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.