Dozens of Israelis have been murdered by stabbings, shootings, and more violence, but rather than condemn the wave of terrorism perpetrated by his own people, a report from Palestinian media covering a Thursday speech by President Mahmoud Abbas chose instead to focus on the “peaceful uprising”. In comments paraphrased by the WAFA Palestinian news agency, Abbas commented on the violence in the region by focusing on the “peaceful popular uprising” angle and the justification for such actions, while the report did not mention the terrorism element—by far the main concern in this “uprising”—at all.
Instead, Abbas also took the opportunity to again say he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state—a key demand by the Israelis over concern the Palestinians would try to get their Arab brethren citizens of Israel to take over the country from the inside. So instead of pushing for peace, Abbas is pushing back.
He also threatened that if Israel didn’t meet their expectations regarding previous agreements between the sides, the Palestinians would break their end of the deal. The report did not detail Israel’s alleged actions nor the Palestinians threatened ones, but it sounds as though Abbas is implying the end of security coordination with Israel—an important piece to counterterrorism in the region.
Ironically, some of the worst terrorists among the Palestinians happen to be Abbas’ political enemies—such as Hamas—and so they have worked with Israel to fight them.
But the Ma’an News Agency is reporting that once again the Palestinians are warning that if Israel doesn’t meet their expectations with regard to the “current situation”, the security coordination would end. A central Palestinian leadership council has determined on that course of action, although the Ma’an report noted that such threats have been made in the past as well and nothing happened.
Meanwhile, one day earlier on Wednesday, US spokesman Mark Toner made another call to the sides to avoid making the situation worse. “We would urge all sides to take affirmative actions that help restore calm and prevent actions that would further escalate tensions,” said Toner in comments released by the State Department.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 3, 2016)