While recent calls for a new Palestinian terror campaign—in response to United States President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital—have generally gone unheeded, violence against Israel still continued over the weekend. On Sunday, the IDF Spokesman reported via Twitter that two rockets fired from Gaza landed in Israel. Earlier, a post on Twitter on Sunday by Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld reported that a 17-year-old Palestinian was arrested carrying a pipe bomb “as he tried to enter the area of a military court.”
Those attempted attacks followed a report by CBS News that a senior Trump Administration official said they couldn’t imagine a scenario in which Israel would accept a peace deal with the Palestinians and not retain sovereignty over the Western Wall, or Kotel in Hebrew. The comments were made during a briefing for reporters by senior Administration officials on Friday, along with a reminder that any actual border lines would be addressed by negotiations.
Not surprisingly, the Palestinians weren’t happy with the Western Wall comment, even though it prejudged nothing and the site is one of the holiest places in Judaism.
Spokesman for the Palestinian Authority presidency, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, denounced Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Ma’an News Agency, citing a report by the official PA Wafa news agency, quoted Rudeinah as saying they would not accept any changes to the so-called 1967 lines—in which the Palestinians claim the entire Biblical city of Jerusalem—in response to the comments about the Western Wall.
Israeli Transportation Minister Israel Katz had his own commentary on Twitter on Palestinian rejection of the Western Wall statement, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas by his alternate moniker, Abu Mazen. “Abu Mazen says no! To USA clarification that the Western Wall would be within our borders in any agreement. Once again, truth is exposed, such as Arafat vs. Barak & Abu Mazen vs. Olmert—ZERO willingness to compromise, a lack of recognition of Jewish right to a state,” tweeted Katz.
While the Palestinians are issuing rebukes to the American leadership, Israel is praising them ahead of a visit next week by US Vice President Mike Pence. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in comments released by his office on Sunday, “Once again I would like to express special appreciation for the determined leadership of President Trump and his administration in defending the truth of Israel, for vigorously rejecting the attempts to use the UN as a platform against Israel and for [their] general support.”
The latest Trump Administration statements on Jerusalem reportedly elicited those defiant comments from the Palestinians, but so far the violence afterwards was similar to the previous attacks following the original Trump Jerusalem declaration.
Last Friday, Rosenfeld tweeted that during riots near the Palestinian city of Ramallah a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a border police officer. The officer was left in moderate condition, while the terrorist was shot, according to Rosenfeld. And as disturbing as the attack was, the means used by the terrorist made it even worse.
On Sunday, Rosenfeld posted a photo to Twitter of the terrorist standing among a group of journalists and said in the caption, “Palestinian terrorist who stabbed border police officer during riots near Ramallah used the foreign media as a cover up for the attack.”
So while the level of Palestinian violence hasn’t escalated as much as had been threatened after the Trump recognition of Jerusalem, the Palestinians certainly have been promoting peace either.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 17, 2017)