The Palestinian Authority leadership has instructed its officials to avoid appearing in the international or Arab media and speaking about Tuesday’s terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue, an unnamed Palestinian source told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds on Wednesday.
The PA leadership is trying to avoid embarrassment with the US, which is seeking to calm tensions following the attack in which two Palestinians killed four Jewish worshipers and a Druze Israeli policeman, the source told the paper.
PA officials canceled numerous scheduled appearances in the media since Tuesday morning’s attack, the source added.
US Secretary of State John Kerry not only condemned the gruesome killing, but also charged that it was a direct result of incitement in the Palestinian media.
“To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for ‘days of rage,’ of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable,” Kerry declared from London. “The Palestinian leadership must condemn this and they must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas acquiesced to Kerry’s demand and condemned the attack, but not before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led a diplomatic charge placing blame for the attack and the incitement that he said led to it squarely on Abbas.
By Wednesday several US media outlets, including The New York Times, had called out Abbas for inciting violence.
“The Palestinian [Authority] president, Mahmoud Abbas, had to be pushed by Secretary of State John Kerry into speaking out,” lamented the influential American newspaper’s Wednesday editorial. “’We condemn the killings of worshipers at the synagogue in Jerusalem and condemn acts of violence no matter their source,’ Mr. Abbas said in a statement. That was apparently the first time he had denounced Palestinian attacks in recent days….As a political leader, Mr. Abbas has a duty to make the moral case that such brutality and inhumanity can only bring shame upon the Palestinian people,” the Times concluded.