Palestinian terror groups on Saturday condemned German police for opening an investigation into Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for possible incitement. Police launched the probe over Abbas’s claim while in Berlin that Israel had committed “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians.
Hamas said it “rejects and condemns the announcement by the German police. Once again international powers are proving their bias toward the Israeli occupation and the denial of the historic rights of our Palestinian people.”
The group that rules Gaza vowed that those powers “will not be able to erase the Palestinian narrative.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group said that “the position of German police shows a hypocrisy and a bias toward the occupation.”
It said Abbas’s comments were “part of the Palestinian national narrative that defends our people from the entire world, to uncover the crimes of the occupation.”
Abbas made the comment Tuesday during a visit to Berlin, when he was asked about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer were killed after being taken hostage by Palestinian terror group Black September. At the time of the attack, the group was linked to Abbas’s Fatah party.
Pressed whether he planned to apologize over the attack, Abbas responded by instead citing allegations of atrocities committed by Israel since 1947. “I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed in 50 Palestinian villages… 50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts,” he said at a joint press conference alongside Scholz.
The comments sparked outrage in Germany, Israel, the US and elsewhere.
In a statement released by the Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency Wednesday, Abbas walked back his comments and affirmed that “the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern human history.”
But on Friday, a senior adviser to Abbas defended the leader against an outpouring of criticism for saying Israel had committed “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians.
In a speech broadcast Wednesday by Palestine TV, Mahmoud al-Habash, Abbas’s religious affairs adviser and the PA’s top Sharia judge, said the PA chief was facing a “biased and racist attack” from Israeli leaders, claiming they were criticizing him for the remark because he “is defending his people.” He did not note that others, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, have also criticized Abbas for the claim.
Al-Habash denounced the criticism of Abbas as a “campaign of incitement” against him and “every Palestinian, each and every one of us.”
“He wants to remind the world of the continuous and successive massacres which were committed by the occupation against the Palestinians from 1947 to this very day,” al-Habash said, according to a translation of his comments by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“They want us to forget history, while at the same time they want the world to remember a history which is mostly forged, exaggerated, fabricated and with no basis in reality,” he added.