PA decries Hebron attack, says Israel wouldn’t do the same

Baruch Mizrahi’s death is ‘painful,’ official says, but asserts Israel would never condemn the killing of a Palestinian

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habash (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habash (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday issued a first official condemnation of the murder of senior Israeli Police officer Baruch Mizrahi, who was shot on Monday evening near Hebron.

“[Regarding] this Israeli who was killed, it is painful,” Mahmoud al-Habash, the Palestinian minister of religious affairs, told reporters in Ramallah. “We condemn the death of every human being. The principle of killing and violence is completely unacceptable.

“I expect to hear a condemnation from the Israeli side after a Palestinian is killed, but that won’t happen,” he added.

On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the PA for failing to condemn the attack, and blamed it for disseminating incitement that, he said, led to the murder.

“This reprehensible murder of a man who was traveling with his family to a meal for the Festival of Freedom is the result of the incitement for which the Palestinian Authority is responsible,” Netanyahu said.

“Last night, this incitement was translated into the murder of a father who was traveling with his family to celebrate the first night of Passover,” he said. “The incitement of the Palestinian Authority continues in that it has yet to see fit to condemn this abominable and reprehensible act.”

The prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday praised the shooting. Speaking in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh said the attack “brought back life to the path of resistance” against Israel and warned of more attacks in the territory.

Undated habdout file picture released by the Israel Police of Baruch Mizrahi, 47, an inteligence service police high ranking officer, killed on April 14, 2014 near the West Bank city of Hebron (photo credit: AFP/HO/Israel Police)
Undated handout file picture released by the Israeli Police of Baruch Mizrahi, 47, a senior officer killed on April 14, 2014, near the West Bank city of Hebron. (photo credit: AFP/HO/Israeli Police)

The victim, Baruch Mizrahi, a senior police officer and a father of five, was killed when the family’s car was struck by several bullets. Mizrahi’s pregnant wife was in stable condition after the attack, and was evacuated to the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem.

One of the couple’s children, aged 9, was lightly injured. He was in another vehicle at the time of the attack.

Mizrahi was to be laid to rest at 1 p.m. at the Mount Herzl cemetery on Wednesday.

Times of Israel staff and AP contributed to this report.

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