World leaders from across the planet paid respects to former Israeli statesman and peace proponent Shimon Peres, and that even included Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. That did not include other powerful Palestinian groups or even a member of the Palestinian security force that assists Israel, who were all quite vocal in their opposition to Abbas attending Peres’ funeral.
Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, claimed Abbas’ mere attendance would move towards normalization in the relationship with Israel, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency. Another terror group, the Popular Resistance Committees, viciously assailed Peres as a criminal, despite the former leader’s major role in peace talks with the Palestinians and for which he received a Nobel Peace Prize. And that was not the worst reaction – Ma’an reported that Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza burned in effigy Peres, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Ma’an separately reported that other anti-Peres sentiments came from a Palestinian military liaison officer who criticized Abbas for attending the funeral and obliquely raised claims about Peres committing various crimes. The officer, who is part of the group that works with Israel on security matters, was later arrested by Palestinian security forces. His family claims it was due to the Facebook post, according to Ma’an.
The contrast in vitriol from the Palestinian groups and Peres’ obvious legacy with the nations who honored his passing, was stark.
Netanyahu summed up Peres’ commitment to peace in his eulogy published by his office: “He made every effort throughout his adult life to achieve piece with our neighbors.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.