Fatah—the political faction of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and supposedly the moderate group as opposed to the Hamas terrorist organization—recently found time on Twitter to praise a Hamas terrorist who murdered an Israeli rabbi father of six earlier this month.
Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Arabic Spokesman Ofir Gendelman posted to Twitter last Thursday an image of a Twitter tribute to the terrorist with the following caption: “PA President Abbas’s own Fatah organization praises the Hamas terrorist who murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a father of 6, in a drive by shooting last week, and was killed tonight in a firefight w/ Israeli special forces. The PA glorifies these murderers & pays them millions.”
Palestinian celebration of terrorists has long been a concern, especially their support for so-called martyrs—a term that is often used to refer to terrorists killed by Israel. Payment by the Palestinian government to the families of such dead terrorists—and other families of terrorists in held in Israeli prison—has been a serious concern of the United States, who have repeatedly called for a halt to the payments. Abbas, meanwhile, publicly refused to stop those salaries in a speech last week.
Abbas, speaking at a Palestinian leadership meeting, said initially they don’t want war with Israel, but then expressed implicit support for all “martyrs” and prisoners without limiting that aid to non-terrorists.
In an Arabic speech posted to the official WAFA Palestinian News Agency, according to an online English translation, Abbas called the issue of the salaries of families of “martyrs” and prisoners “important” and said they “refuse to cut these salaries categorically.”
Continued Abbas, “We will not allow anyone to harm the salaries of the families of the martyrs, the wounded and the prisoners. They are our sons and we will continue to pay them.”
Following the murder of Rabbi Shevach, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman specifically pointed to Palestinian financial support for terrorists as a barrier to peace on Twitter. Ambassador Friedman tweeted on January 10, “Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace.”
While those are strong words, Abbas and the PA likely won’t care what the Americans say, with Abbas having rejected US mediation in that same forceful speech last week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments on Sunday, believes that’s one more red flag about Palestinian intentions.
Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, “On peace, I have a message for [Abbas]: There is no alternative for American leadership in the diplomatic process. Whoever is not ready to talk with the Americans about peace—does not want peace.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 21, 2018)