Rock bottomRock bottom

UN official hurt in stoning: ‘Allah will forgive them’

Mounir Kleibo, who was wounded when Palestinians pelted his vehicle with rocks, declines to condemn attack

Illustrative image of damage to a car pelted with stones outside Jerusalem on September 20, 2015. (Courtesy)
Illustrative image of damage to a car pelted with stones outside Jerusalem on September 20, 2015. (Courtesy)

A senior United Nations official who was injured when Palestinians threw rocks at his car wrote on Facebook that “Allah will forgive the rock throwers.”

Mounir Kleibo, who heads the UN bureau of the International Labor Organization in the Palestinian Territories, sustained serious injuries to his jaw after coming under attack by Palestinian rock throwers in East Jerusalem on Friday.

The UN coordinator for development and humanitarian activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper, condemned the attack “on a clearly marked United Nations (UN) vehicle traveling on Route 50 in East Jerusalem, which seriously injured a senior UN official.

“I join the rest of the UN family in wishing our colleague a speedy recovery,” he wrote later on Friday.

Piper’s statement did not identify Kleibo either by name or position.

A report in the Hebrew-language NRG website noted that Kleibo’s Facebook profile was overtly pro-Palestinian, despite his being a UN official.

Kleibo’s cover picture shows the dome of the al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and his profile picture is the word “Shuhada” (“Martyrdom”) on a black background.

In one of his posts, Kleibo wrote, “We mourn not only our shahids but also ourselves, our eyes, our hearts, our consciousness and our humanity.”

After the attack — in an update apparently posted from his hospital bed at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood — Kleibo said that both he and his wife, Tamara, were fine, and then added, “May Allah forgive those who throw the rocks at night.”

A Foreign Ministry official told NRG that it was “regrettable that the UN did not explicitly condemn all Palestinian stone throwers, who hurt, among others, a senior UN official.

“One can be even sorrier that the same official, a victim of Palestinian violence, continues praising it on his Facebook page,” the official added.

Escalating tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in recent weeks have seen an increasing number of rock-throwing attacks by Palestinian protesters against Israeli civilians and security forces.

The attacks have prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek harsher penalties for stone throwers, including instituting mandatory minimum sentences.

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