Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to denounce terrorism and work to secure peace between their two nations in a video message published Friday.
Netanyahu, who has repeatedly extended invitations to meet with Abbas over the past several years—including at least twice in May and twice in April—addressed the Palestinian leader’s refusal to accept his offers before listing five steps Abbas could take to “convince Israelis that they have a true partner for peace.”
Among these was a request for Abbas to fire his adviser, Sultan Abu al-Einein, who called on Palestinians to slit the throat of every Israeli they meet. Three days after al-Einein’s comments were publicized, a Palestinian broke into the home of a 13-year-old Israeli girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, and stabbed her to death as she slept. “I ask that you fire this advisor because advocating genocide is not consistent with peace,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli premier also asked Abbas to instruct his Fatah party to stop posting material on social media that honors terrorists. “Impressionable children read these posts,” Netanyahu said, referencing a recent Facebook post on Fatah’s official Facebook page that glorified a terrorist who killed 24 people and wounded 70 in 1972 as a “hero.”
Netanyahu further noted that the PA is set to dedicate a monument to a Palestinian terrorist who killed 15 people and wounded 77 more by detonating a refrigerator filled with explosives on a busy street in Jerusalem in 1975. Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack.
The terrorist, Ahmed Jabara, was released after serving 27 years in prison as a goodwill gesture by the Israeli government to Yasser Arafat. Arafat subsequently named Jabara an adviser on prisoner affairs.
“Rather than dedicate a statue to a mass-murderer, I ask that you consider honoring a champion of co-existence,” Netanyahu said.
The prime minister also mentioned the PLO’s practice of paying a monthly salary to terrorists, which “provides direct incentive to commit terror.”
“I ask that you stop paying murderers and instead use this money to fund co-existence education, teach tolerance not terror,” he added.
Netanyahu concluded by requesting that Abbas join him to work for peace, as “every Israeli and Palestinian child deserves a life of hope, of tranquility and opportunity.”
Leading Palestinian officials, including Abbas, have been frequently accused by Israeli officials of glorifying terrorists and inciting violence. Songs, re-enactments, and graphics that celebrate terrorist attacks often go viral on Palestinian social media. Such attacks have broad support in Palestinian society; a poll conducted over the first three months of 2016 found that over 60 percent of Palestinians approve of “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel.”
[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]