Palestinians to protest to Security Council over ads calling for death of Abbas
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Palestinians to protest to Security Council over ads calling for death of Abbas

Envoy says letter urging international community to take action to be circulated, after posters appear across West Bank showing PA leader’s head in crosshairs

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Posters showing Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas with a text reading “Eliminate the sponsers of murder” on the side of the road near the West Bank settlement of Geva Binyamin, December 11, 2018. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Posters showing Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas with a text reading “Eliminate the sponsers of murder” on the side of the road near the West Bank settlement of Geva Binyamin, December 11, 2018. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

The Palestinian leadership plans to appeal to UN Security Council members to protest posters plastered across the West Bank this week seemingly calling for the assassination of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a Palestinian diplomat said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, posters bearing the face of Abbas in rifle crosshairs and the Hebrew words “assassinate the terror funders” appeared throughout the West Bank.

The placards were placed inside settlements, at bus stops and along West Bank roads by Derech Chaim, a settler group that calls for public policy in accordance with religious Jewish law. The campaign came days after seven people were hurt in a terror attack near the Ofra settlement.

Letters urging the international community to “undertake is responsibilities” regarding the campaign will be delivered to the current president of the Security Council, Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said on Wednesday, according to the official PA news site Wafa.

Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour, left, speaks to reporters while Palestinian minister of foreign affairs Riyad al-Maliki looks on following a meeting in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Ivory Coast, which holds the presidency, will then be asked to distribute it to the 14 other member states of the UN body, as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, Mansour said.

The statement did not expand on what the Palestinians were calling on the international community to do.

The posters cited payouts from the PA to Palestinians jailed in Israel for security offenses and the families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks. According to the Defense Ministry, the PA gives a monthly salary NIS 12,000 ($3,200) to each security prisoner sentenced to over 30 years in prison.

The United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, October 18, 2018. (Rick Bajornas/UN Photo)

Israel has long pointed to the payouts as incentivizing terror.

“The time has come to say: a murder funder = a murder,” the posters read.

In a Facebook post explaining the campaign, Derech Chaim criticized the government’s security policy which it claimed has allowed deadly terror attacks to become “part of the routine.”

The group asserted that until the government “eliminates the terrorists’ financiers” such attacks will continue to take place.

Palestinian officials have fumed over the campaign, and several have said they will hold Israel responsible if any harm comes to Abbas.

Police said Tuesday they were aware of the campaign and were examining whether it constitutes incitement.

The memorandum will also protest a raid by Israeli security forces on the Wafa headquarters in Ramallah on Monday as well as Israeli police officers entering the Dome of the Rock, a site on the Temple Mount revered by Muslims and Jews, on Tuesday, Mansour said.

“The memorandum…will call on the international community to undertake its responsibilities regarding” the posters, the raid on Wafa and the policemen entering the Dome of the Rock, the PLO envoy said.

Videos posted on Twitter showed policemen entered the Dome of the Rock on Tuesday.

Israeli soldiers deploy during clashes in the West Bank city of Ramallah following a raid on December 10, 2018, one day after a drive-by shooting attack next to a settlement in which many Israelis were injured. (ABBAS MOMANI / AFP)

The Israel Police rarely enter the site.

When asked why the policemen entered the Dome of the Rock, a Police spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The poster campaign appeared days after a shooting attack by a suspected Palestinian gunman on Sunday night. Troops have been searching the West Bank in an effort to locate suspects, including raiding shops and offices in Ramallah, including Wafa’s offices, and demanding security camera footage.

On Monday, Abbas reached out to unnamed Arab and foreign officials to complain about the raids.

Seven people were hurt in the attack near Ofra, including a pregnant woman who was seriously hurt after being shot in the abdomen.

Doctors managed to deliver the baby in an emergency C-section after the attack but he was pronounced dead on Wednesday after several days of intensive medical efforts.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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