|Palestinian Authority spokesman Ihab Bseiso|
“We cannot continue to be bound by these signed agreements with Israel and Israel must assume fully all its responsibility as an occupying power.” [New York Times, September 30, 2015]Nonetheless
We do not respond to the Israeli occupation’s hatred and brutality with the same. Instead, we are working on spreading the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and in our region... My hands remain outstretched for the just peace that will guarantee my people’s fights, freedom and human dignity. I say to our neighbors, the Israeli people that peace is in your interest, in our interest, and in the interest of our future generations. Narrow vision is destructive. I hope that you will consider the dangerous reality on the ground and look to the future... [Text of Abbas speech via Times of Israel]What did he actually mean?, asked numerous commentators (like this one). Evidently the great man himself believes he made himself perfectly clear:
"I stand behind everything that I said on the UN stage, and will work to implement the decisions." [Abbas quoted in Ynet, October 2, 2015]Today we have a slightly better sense of his intentions. Times of Israel reports that
After days of silence amid a string of terror attacks and skyrocketing tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority on Sunday condemned Israel for its “policy of escalation,” after two Palestinian assailants were killed as they carried out terror attacks. In a written communique published on the official news agency Wafa, PA government spokesman Ihab Bseiso called on the international community to intervene following “the killing of two young men in occupied Jerusalem and the series of incursions into cities and villages in the West Bank.” The statement made no mention of the fact that the two dead Palestinians had been killed while carrying out stabbing attacks against Israeli civilians... [and] did not condemn or mention the killings of Naama and Eitam Henkin, who were shot to death in a Palestinian terror attack on Thursday in the West Bank.The PA's condemnation of Israel is especially galling when it's recalled who took responsibility for the murder-by-shooting of the Henkins on Thursday ["02-Oct-15: Google the name of the young Israeli parents murdered in their car last night..."].
A unit within Fatah’s armed wing assumed responsibility for the murder... The Abdel Qader al-Husseini Brigades, a group affiliated with Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, announced on Friday that its men on Thursday night opened fire on the car of Eitam and Naama Henkin, a couple in their 30s, while they were driving home with their four children, aged four months to nine... Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, is the largest faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is the governing body in West Bank areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. “With Allah’s help and in keeping with our right for resistance and our duty to sacred jihad, our forces on Thursday night carried out a necessary action in which they fired on a car of occupying settlers..." The statement, translated into Hebrew by the Ma’ariv daily, also warned “the enemy against taking revenge on civilians,” as “any war crimes would be severely retaliated against.” ["Fatah armed wing claims responsibility for terror attack", Times of Israel, October 2, 2015]It's baffling to see how blood-curdling threats to murder in the name of jihad, and evidence that they do it and are proud to have done it, keep getting discounted by observers and politicians.
Odd, too, that no one seems terribly vexed by the way Fatah, which claims to be secular, invokes the doctrine of sacred jihad in explaining why Jews must die.