‘The difference between us and our enemies is our values’, says Yair Lapid
While two young Israelis convicted of murdering Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khedir in summer 2014 were sentenced to life and 21 years imprisonment respectively by a Jerusalem District Court, Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas hosted families of terrorists from Jerusalem, some of whom carried out deadly attacks against Jews.
The meeting, which took place at Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah, was held just hours after three Palestinian Arab terrorists carried out a shooting and stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, killing one 19-year-old Border Police officer, Hadar Cohen, and wounding a second one.
Thirty-one Israelis have been killed and 302 have been wounded in the wave of terrorism that began several months ago.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways to return the bodies of the terrorists to their families. Abbas told the families that he is making great efforts to have the bodies returned and claimed that the burial of “shahids” (martyrs) is a right and as such he is opposed to the conditions set by Israel for the release of the bodies.
The meeting was attended among others by the family of Baha Alian, one of two terrorists who carried out in October a shooting and stabbing attack on a bus in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem which killed three people.
Alyan was subsequently shot and killed by police.
Haim Haviv, 78, Alon Govberg, 51, and Richard Lakin, 76, were murdered, and over a dozen other passengers were seriously wounded in the attack, which rattled the nation.
The family of Ala Abu Jamal, a resident of Jabal Mukaber, were also in attendance. Jamal, 33, drove his vehicle into a group of several people waiting at a bus stop. He then exited his car with a meat cleaver and began attacking the wounded and others with the implement.
Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky, 60, was killed, apparently both from the vehicular attack and the axe wounds while two other people were seriously injured.
The fact that Abbas met with families of terrorists should come as no surprise, as he has refused to condemn attacks against Israelis and, in fact, has justified the attacks by claiming that Palestinians are driven to carry them out due to their frustration with the “difficult conditions” under which they live.
Abbas, officials who are close to him and PA media have all been responsible for much of the incitement to terrorism against Israelis.
One example of Abbas’s incitement is his infamous call on Palestinian Arabs to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from Jews and their “filthy feet”.
He also was revealed to have made statements on Palestinian TV, where he publicly stated that the murder of dozens of Israelis and the wounding of hundreds others is part of a “peaceful uprising.”
The chairman of Yesh Atid party, Yaitr Lapid, called Abbas’s visit “unforgivable,” speaking during a meeting with 30 ambassadors from EU member states.
“It is intolerable and unforgivable that an hour after [Border Police officer] Hadar Cohen was murdered, Abbas welcomed families of terrorists who murdered innocent Israelis,” Lapid said. “We cannot forgive him for that and we cannot be silent about it, but the world is silent.”
Lapid told the ambassadors to imagine how the world would respond if the Prime Minister hosted the families of the Israelis suspected of firebombing and killing a Palestinian family.
“We will never be like them, because Israel’s power comes first of all from its morality. The difference between us and our enemies is our values. That is why we can ask the world: Why are you continuing to embrace those who support vile murderers?” he asked.