Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian political parties, have expressed praise for a terror attack that killed four Israelis in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Fadi al-Qunbar, a suspected ISIS supporter, drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing Lt. Yael Yekutiel (age 20), Cadet Shir Hajaj (22), Cadet Shira Tzur (20), and Cadet Erez Orbach (20).
A security camera captured video of the attack:
While the attack was condemned by the United States, European Union, United Nations Security Council, and other leading bodies, it was met with praise by Palestinian leaders. Residents of Gaza handed out candies to celebrate the deaths.
Fatah, the political party headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called the terror attack a “martyrdom operation” in a tweet from its official account.
— حركة فتح (@fatehorg) January 8, 2017
The account’s profile graphic signifies the anniversary of the first Fatah terror attack against Israel in January 1965, 52 years ago.
Hamas, the Iran-backed terror group that rules Gaza, used social media to call the attack “heroic.”
— Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) January 8, 2017
Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif Qanou called it a “heroic” act and called on more Palestinians to “escalate the resistance,” CBS reported Sunday. Qanou boasted that Palestinian terror has returned, saying, “it may be quiet, it may linger, but it will never end.” The terror group bragged in a press release last week that it had killed seventeen Israelis in 2016.
Both groups also used language that could potentially incite violence when praising last month’s UN Security Council resolution, which condemned Israeli activities in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. Fatah celebrated the resolution’s passage by posting an image of a dripping knife on its Facebook page, and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal praised the resolution in a press conference in Istanbul, saying that “resistance is the only way to liberate Palestine….The resistance in Gaza is smuggling weapons and digging tunnels in Gaza to prepare for a confrontation with [Israel], which will taste its woes on the edge of the Gaza Strip.”
Islamic terrorist group Hamas responds to today's terror attack, which killed several Israelis and wounded many others pic.twitter.com/0jSVoPbEni
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) January 8, 2017
Palestinian cartoon celebrating yesterday's attack: "Happy New Year!" pic.twitter.com/PCYddKMWX5
— ElderOfZiyon (@elderofziyon) January 9, 2017
The Palestinian reaction to the terror attack stood in stark contrast to the near unanimous condemnation by much of the rest of the world, a number of whom stated explicitly that there was no excuse to terror.
The United States State Department said:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific vehicular attack by a terrorist in Jerusalem. There is absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks. We condemn the glorification of terrorism now or at any time and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated.
The statement from the European Union read, in part:
The EU condemns the murder of these four young Israelis, as well as any praise or incitement for terrorist acts. We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and hope that those injured will make a full recovery.
There can be no justification for such a crime: the EU will continue to work with those who seek peace and denounce those who pursue violence and terror.
A press statement issued by the UN Security Council condemned the terror attack “in the strongest terms” and “reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.”
“Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” the council insisted, emphasizing the need to hold those who commit terror accountable.
Others condemning the terror include the Australian and British ambassadors to Israel, the Canadian foreign minister, and the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
condemn today's attack in Jerusalem. Can be no justification for terrorism anywhere. Thoughts with victims and families.
— David Quarrey (@DavidQuarrey) January 8, 2017
— Chrystia Freeland (@MinCanadaFA) January 8, 2017
— Nickolay E. MLADENOV (@nmladenov) January 8, 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences on the deaths to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Among the other nations condemning the terror attack were France, Germany, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Norway, and Italy.
[Photo: The Times of Israel / YouTube ]