Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praised a Jordanian man who was shot while attempting to stab Israeli Border Police officers, calling him a “martyr” in a condolence letter to his family this week.
The attacker, Saeed Amro, approached the police officers with a knife at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City and was fatally shot. Abbas called Amro “a martyr who watered the pure earth of Palestine with his blood” and hoped that “God would wrap the martyr in his mercy, and that he will dwell in paradise.”
An Abbas spokesman said in a statement on Friday that the killing of Palestinian attackers in self-defense was “a crime and an execution.” in a statement.
Palestinian Authority leaders have repeatedly refused to condemn acts of violence against Israeli civilians. Abbas refused on multiple occasions to condemn the shootings, knifings, and car-rammings that targeted Israeli civilians last year and earlier this year. In March, when a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree in Jaffa that killed American army veteran Taylor Force and wounded ten others, the PA’s official TV news station called the attacker a “martyr”; on Twitter, Abbas’ Fatah Party hailed him as a “martyr” and a “hero.”
The PA also refused to condemn the shooting attack that occurred in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market in June, which killed four people and wounded 16 others. Fatah, the main constituent party of the PA, released a statement justifying the attack, claiming that Israel was “reaping the repercussions of choosing violence against the Palestinian people.”
The PA has also consistently incited violence against Israelis, and pays salaries to Palestinians who carry out attacks against them. A senior adviser to Abbas stated this past June, “Wherever you find an Israeli, slit his throat.”
Attacks against Israeli civilians have broad support in Palestinian society. A poll released by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research this April found that over 60 percent of Palestinians approve of “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel.”
[Photo: Hadas Parush / Flash90 ]