Palestinian jihadists have continued murdering Jews in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his security forces stood by for days and let these murders happen. In fact, by declaring last week at the United Nations General Assembly that he was prepared to walk away from the Oslo Accords and abandon the Palestinian Authority’s security responsibilities, Abbas effectively gave the Palestinian thugs a wink and a nod. His incendiary rhetoric regarding the Temple Mount has also contributed to the incitement of Palestinian violence.
Abbas knowingly lied to the General Assembly when he accused the Israeli government of using “brutal force to impose its plans to undermine the Islamic and Christian sanctuaries in Jerusalem, particularly its actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque.” He also lied when he accused Israel of taking actions to “convert the conflict from a political to religious one, creating an explosive in Jerusalem and in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.”
Abbas himself has helped create the explosive situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank with his irresponsible falsehoods, appeals to religious fanaticism and incitement to violence. He has no basis for claiming that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to keep his promise to maintain the status quo around the Old City compound where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, which means the Israeli government’s agreement that only Muslims are permitted to worship there. Despite Mr. Netanyahu’s repeated assurances, “Abbas continues to deliberately spread false allegations with the sole purpose of sparking violence amongst the Palestinian People,” Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor correctly charged.
The spark has been ignited.
Last week, a couple riding with their children in a car in the West Bank were shot and killed. Israeli security forces have reportedly identified the Hamas cell responsible for this brutal slaughter.
A rabbi and an off-duty Israeli soldier were stabbed to death by a Palestinian youth in the Old City of Jerusalem over the weekend. The soldier’s wife and toddler were wounded. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. Hamas praised the attack as a “heroic operation.” This was too much even for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who issued a statement that condemned Hamas specifically for “praising such heinous attacks.”
The violence continued as a Palestinian man stabbed and wounded a Jewish teenager near the Old City early Sunday morning. On Sunday night, Israelis celebrating on the eve of Simhat Torah had to face once again a rocket attack launched from Gaza.
The latest Palestinian attacks have prompted a security crackdown by Israeli military and police forces in order to curb further violence. Measures include detonating jihadists’ houses, more administrative detentions, a beefed up military presence and temporarily placing restrictions on Palestinians allowed to enter the Old City.
Yet the violence has not abated. In a 24-hour period between Sunday and Monday more than twenty incidences of violence in several parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank erupted as Palestinian mobs attacked with firebombs, explosives and rocks. Two Palestinian youths were killed as Israeli soldiers tried to quell the Palestinian violence. At last, no doubt prompted by the loss of Palestinian lives, Abbas appears to have taken notice of the chaos he helped to spark. He is finally taking some steps to prevent the Palestinian-inspired violence from getting totally out of hand. But Abbas waited to act until after four Israelis were killed and Israel’s response aimed at the Palestinian assassins and rioters has resulted in the deaths and injury of Palestinians.
Some Palestinians have justified the recent violence against Jews as deserved revenge for the burning alive of a Palestinian family, including a baby, reported to have been done by Jewish extremist settlers. This is nothing less than a cynical exploitation of a human tragedy by thugs who do not need any excuses for their murderous rampages. The fact is that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately condemned the arson attack, which allegedly killed the Palestinian family, as an “act of terrorism” that will not be tolerated by the State of Israel “regardless of who the perpetrators are.” Contrast Netanyahu’s responsible leadership with Abbas, who has incited violence and then has been too slow to react when it happens, and with Abbas’s “coalition partner” Hamas, which sponsors or encourages such attacks.
In his UN General Assembly speech last week, Abbas tried to portray the Palestinians as “spreading the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and in our region.” What kind of snake oil is this con artist selling? When Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, the co-founder of Abbas’s “coalition partner” Hamas, said several years ago that Jews “have no future among the nations of the world” and “are headed to annihilation,” was he spreading “the culture of peace and coexistence?” Hamas has certainly not changed its stripes since its co-founder made that remark and suddenly become the Johnny Appleseed of peace and coexistence. In fact, Hamas today is teaching Palestinian children to become the next generation of hate-filled jihadists sent out to kill Jews.
The Palestinian leadership is not interested in negotiating a viable, good faith peace agreement with Israel. It never has been. They refuse to compromise on a single thing, whether it be their insistence on returning to virtually the pre-1967 lines for establishing the border between Israel and a new Palestinian state or their insistence on the so-called “Right of Return” allowing potentially millions of so-called Palestinian refugees to overrun even a pre-1967 Israel. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other jihadist groups use violence as their tactic of choice to intimidate and try to annihilate Israelis. Abbas uses incendiary rhetoric and manipulation of international law and institutions as his tactic of choice to try and delegitimize Israel. Their desired end game is the same – the complete destruction of the Jewish state in the historic homeland of the Jewish people.