New York – The Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, has failed to denounce the acts of Palestinian terrorists, but has condemned as a heinous massacre the killing yesterday by Israel of seven Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist group. Abbas did not utter any condemnation of the terrorists who target Israeli civilians. The seven dead terrorists included Ata Shimbari, leader of the PRC unit that fires rockets into Israeli towns and cities, who were killed by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Givati Brigade commandos in the northern Gaza Strip. The PRCs spokesman, Abu Abir, vowed revenge for Shimbaris death, saying that This is the calm before the storm. In addition to condemning the Israeli operation to eliminate the terrorists, Abbas claimed that Israel had deliberately conducted it during the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr and called upon the international community to intervene ( Jerusalem Post, October 23).
Mahmoud Abbas has refused to implement Palestinian commitments under signed agreements with Israel and also the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to fight, arrest, extradite and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds it. Additionally, he has regularly praised Palestinian terrorists, saying Israel calls them terrorists, we call them strugglers (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004) and further described them as heroes fighting for freedom ( The Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005). He has also previously condemned legitimate Israeli military operations to eliminate Palestinian terrorists. In May, Abbas condemned as a barbarous slaughter the killing by IDF special forces in northern Gaza village of Beit Lahiya of four Palestinian terrorists and the wounding of a further eight who had been on their way to carry out Qassem rocket attacks against Israel (Independent Media Review & Analysis, May 30).
ZOA Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, In recent days, Mahmoud Abbas has shown his duplicity by pretending to the West to recognize Israel while telling an Arab audience that no Palestinian party has to recognize Israel. Now he has condemned, not the Palestinian terrorists who had been attempting to attack Israel, but Israel for eliminating Palestinian terrorists. For some odd reason, Abbas believes that Israel should particularly cease preventing the terrorists he refuses to arrest and jail from killing Jews during a Muslim holiday period. It is simply astonishing that the world continues to court Abbas as a moderate and peacemaker when he is neither, as shown by his long and continuing record of extremism and duplicity. The ZOA calls again on the Bush Administration to sever ties with Mahmoud Abbas and his terror-supporting PA regime.