Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Flash90)

Instead of condemning terrorists who fired hundreds of rockets on Israeli civilians, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas thew his support behind the war criminals that launched this onslaught.

By Maurice Hirsch and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch

Starting on May 4 through the early hours of May 6, the Palestinian terrorists from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired close to 700 rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel, targeting civilian population centers.

To defend its population, the Israeli Air Force responded by targeting the terrorist groups’ infrastructure and a number of their members.

Instead of condemning the Palestinian terrorists who committed war crimes by firing hundreds of rockets, mortars, and missiles targeting Israel’s civilian population, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to give them full support.

Similar support was also given by officials in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), also headed by Abbas. At the same time, Abbas’ Fatah party referred to all of Israel as “occupied” and all Israelis as “settlers.”

Completely ignoring the actions of the terrorists, Abbas condemned only the “Israeli aggression.” He also lied claiming that the Israeli response to the barrage of terrorist missiles had claimed the life of a pregnant Palestinian and her 14 month old baby.

In fact, the mother and baby were killed by a Hamas rocket that fell short.

“President Mahmoud Abbas strongly condemned today the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip which so far claimed the lives of seven Palestinians, including a toddler and her pregnant mother,” reported WAFA, the official PA news agency on May 4.

Abbas even instructed the PA’s permanent representative to the UN “to consider calling for a meeting of the UN Security Council to bring a halt to the Israeli aggression,” reported WAFA.

Similarly ignoring reality, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi failed to even acknowledge any of the terrorist missile attacks, and paradoxically referred to Israel’s defensive measures as “war crimes.”

She likewise lied accusing Israel of “indiscriminately bombarding heavily populated civilian areas.” In fact, Israel’s defensive strikes deliberately only targeted known terrorist targets. She too repeated the false claim that Israel was responsible for the death of the mother and baby.

“We grieve for 13 Palestinians lost since this brutal assault started on Friday, including Falasteen, a pregnant mother, her unborn child, and Saba her 14 month-old baby,” WAFA quoted Ashrawi on May 5.

‘Israeli Agression’?

Saeb Erakat, Secretary General and Chief Negotiator of the PLO, similarly ignored the hundreds of missiles fired by the Palestinian terrorist groups and condemned only the “Israel aggression,” commenting to WAFA, “We hold the Israeli government fully responsible for this aggression and call upon Egypt the UN and others in the international community to continue exerting every possible effort to restore calm.”

Erekat also falsely blamed Israel for the death of the mother and her baby.

The Israeli army announced that the death of the mother and her child was caused by a Hamas rocket and this was echoed by the Gaza News Agency:

Gaza News agency

Exposing their true sentiments, which include seeing all Israeli towns and cities as “settlements” and all Jews living in Israel as “settlers,” Abbas’ Fatah party reported that the terrorist missiles raining down on Israel’s south were shot at “settlements” and referred to Israel as “southern occupied Palestine.”

The man from the Israeli city Ashekelon who was killed was called a “settler.”

Empty Talk

The statements by Abbas, his Fatah party, and the PLO officials are significant for a number of reasons.

For many months, as part of the internal Palestinian power struggle, Abbas has been denying funds to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. These actions have considerably contributed to the Gaza financial crisis.

Now, when the Gazan terrorist organizations are attacking Israel, suddenly Abbas chooses to ignore the terrorist actions and comes to the defense of the Gazan Palestinians – to gain popularity as a supporter of aggression against Israel.

The statements by Abbas and the PLO officials are reflective of a desperate attempt by Abbas and the PLO to remain relevant as regards the Hamas-controlled Gaza. While the Abbas-led PLO still insists that it is the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” Hamas which is not at present a member of the PLO, has the support of not only many Palestinians in Gaza but also many of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

By supporting the aggression of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Abbas and the PLO are attempting to stamp their fading influence as THE representative of the Palestinians.

Seen in their entirety, the events of the last few days raise another question: When considering the parties to the as-yet undisclosed U.S. peace plan, the identities of the U.S. and Israeli counterparts – US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – are very clear. But who will represent the Palestinians? The PLO or Hamas?