Relatives of victims of Palestinian terror attacks called on US President Donald Trump on Sunday to bar Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas from attending the United Nations General Assembly to be held in New York later this week.
“Abbas is the one person who is personally responsible for the monthly reward payments by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists and the families of terrorists who murdered our loved ones,” the group, American Victims of Palestinian Terrorism, said in a letter. “As recently as last week Abbas reiterated and reaffirmed his commitment to making such payments, assuring that payments would be made to the Palestinian terrorist who brutally murdered Ari Fuld, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel.”
The victims’ relatives said the decision to allow Abbas entry into the US was not only a “slap in the face” to those who have suffered from Palestinian terror, but also “in clear violation of the spirit and the letter of American law.”
The letter cited legislation that prohibits entry to the US to anyone who “endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity.”
The victims also stated that in the past the US had denied entry to diplomats who supported terror.
“Iranian diplomat to the United Nations Hamid Abutalebi was prohibited entry by the Obama administration because of his connection to the death of an Iranian dissident in Rome,” the letter said.
In his speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Abbas will urge the international community to either save the two-state solution or take responsibility for its demise and “burial,” unnamed Palestinian sources told the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat Friday.
The sources said Abbas’s appeal for an international peace conference will be his final effort to save the peace process before he is forced to make “difficult decisions.” These could include suspending the PA’s recognition of Israel, annulment of accords — including Oslo — and declaring the Palestinian territories to be a state under occupation.
Micah Lakin Avni, the son of Richard Lakin, a 76-year old retired elementary school principal from Connecticut who was killed by Palestinian terrorists on a public bus in Jerusalem in October 2015, said Abbas was responsible for the terror attacks through his incitement.
“Abbas is the Grand Wizard of Incitement to violence and terror. He sets the tone in the Palestinian community calling regularly upon Palestinian youth to pick up arms and murder innocent Israelis and Americans,” he said in a statement. “Abbas fuels the Palestinian culture of death with an evil system of reward payments to terrorists… It is unethical, immoral and illegal to allow Abbas to set foot on American soil.”
Other signatories to the letter included the families of Fuld, who was murdered by a Palestinian teenager on September 16; Taylor Force, whose murder on March 8, 2016, on a visit to Israel led to the US ending aid to the PA as long as it pays stipends to terrorists; and Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a 13-year-old girl who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist while she slept in her bed on June 30, 2016.
The State Department responded to a similar request made earlier by the activist group Palestinian Media Watch, saying the US was required to allow Abbas to enter the country to attend the United Nations meeting.
“The Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits us from disclosing details of individual visa cases. All visa applications are reviewed individually in accordance with the requirements of US law,” a spokesman said in an emailed statement.
“As host nation of the UN, except for limited exceptions, the United States is generally obligated under an agreement between the United States and the UN to admit the chosen representatives of Member States into the United States for the purposes of representing their country at the UN.”