More Proof Abbas Is No Moderate — He Declares No Peace Without Release Of All Palestinian Terrorists
August 28, 2008


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has denounced Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas for providing further proof of his lack of moderation and unsuitability as a peace-maker by his declaration at rally in Ramallah to welcome terrorists freed by Israel that, “We will not rest until [all] the prisoners are freed and the jails are empty.” Abbas singled out for mention as requiring release Marwan Barghouti, a Fatah leader serving five consecutive life sentences for murder; Ahmed Saadat, imprisoned for the November 2001 assassination of Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze’evi; and Aziz Duaik, a Hamas figure taken into custody in response to Hamas’ abduction of Israeli serviceman Gilad Schalit (‘Unparalleled cruelty,’ Jerusalem Post, August 26, 2008).


Abbas has a long record of praising and protecting terrorists, refusing to arrest them or dismantle their organizations, condemning Israeli strikes upon them, and funding their families


  • Promoting terrorists: In May 2006, Abbas named Mahmoud Damra, wanted by Israel for leading shooting and roadside bomb attacks against Israelis, including the killing of IDF soldiers near Neve Tzuf in 2000 and of an Israeli citizen near Tapuach, in Samaria, in 2001, as commander of Fatah’s Force 17. Damra also served under Yasser Arafat in order to escape Israeli arrest (Israel National News, 7, May 30, 2006).

  • Protecting terrorists: Abbas, like Arafat before him, has sheltered wanted terrorists in the Muqata, his presidential compound in Ramallah, including Khaled Shawish, a senior Fatah commander responsible for the murder of 19 Israelis and the wounding of dozens more in numerous attacks, until Israeli forces captured him when he ventured outside the compound in May 2007 (Yaakov Katz, ‘Man who killed Kahane’s son arrested in Ramallah,’ Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2007).

  • Welcomes freeing of unrepentant terrorist Samir Kuntar: Abbas personally congratulated the family of this multiple murderer when Kuntar was released by Israel, while Abbas’ Fatah party organized a rally in Ramallah to celebrate the event (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Haniyeh: Release thousands for Schalit,’ Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2008).

  • Authorizes funding for suicide bombers’ families: In December 2005, he approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of killed Palestinian terrorists (Scott Shiloh, ‘Abbas Approves Monthly Grant To Families of Suicide Bombers,’ Israel National News, December 11, 2005).

  • Condemning legitimate Israeli military operations to eliminate Palestinian terrorists. In May 2006, 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 (Michael Widlanski, ‘Abbas and his media condemn Israel for Killing Palestinian racketeers,’ Independent Media Review & Analysis, May 30, 2006); labeled another Israeli incursion in to Gaza to stop terrorist firing into Israel as a “crime against humanity” (Haaretz, June 28, 2006); Condemning legitimate Israeli military operations to eliminate Palestinian terrorists. In May 2006, 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 (Michael Widlanski, ‘Abbas and his media condemn Israel for Killing Palestinian racketeers,’ Independent Media Review & Analysis, May 30, 2006); again condemned as a “heinous massacre” the killing by Israel of seven Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist group, including Ata Shimbari, leader of the PRC unit that fires rockets into Israeli towns and cities (Jerusalem Post, October 23, 2006).

  • Fighting Israel: “We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation … Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation” (Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007).

  • On suicide bombers: “Allah loves the martyr” (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005).

  • On wanted Palestinian terrorists: “heroes fighting for freedom” (Ed O’Loughlin, ‘Abbas courts Gaza militants for votes,’ Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005); “Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers” (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).

  • On Palestinian terrorist leaders Yasser Arafat, Hamas’ Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Fathi Shikaki: “martyrs” (Palestinian Media Center, September 14, 2005).

·        On Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine founder and leader George Habash: “The death of this historic leader is a great loss for the Palestinian cause and for the Palestinian people for whom he fought for 60 years” (‘PFLP founder George Habash mourned as “historic leader for Palestinians”‘,’ Daily Star [Beirut], January 28, 2008).

·        On Hamas: “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada. We want a political partnership with Hamas” (Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2007).

·        On Yasser Arafat: “It is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat” (Haaretz, January 3, 2005); “We will continue in the path of the late president until we fulfill all his dreams” (Agence France-Presse, November 11, 2005); “The Palestinian leadership won’t stray from Arafat’s path” (Yediot Ahronot, November 11, 2006).

·        On using terrorism: “At this present juncture, I am opposed to the armed struggle because we can’t succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different” (‘Abbas: Armed ‘resistance’ not ruled out,’ Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2008).

·        On Fatah’s pioneering role in terrorism: “I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what it’s like; when it is effective and when it isn’t effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is … We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps” (‘Abbas: Armed ‘resistance’ not ruled out,’ Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2008).

  • Equating Palestinian terrorism with Israeli strikes on terrorists: [Official statement] In February 2008, Abbas’ PA stated, “The Palestinian Authority expresses its full condemnation of the Israeli military operation this dawn in (the Palestinian village of) Qabatiya just as it condemns the operation that took place today in Dimona” (Ali Waked, ‘Hamas: Dimona attack a “heroic” act,’ Yediot Ahronot, February 4, 2008). Again, in March 2008, “President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the attack in Jerusalem that claimed the lives of many Israelis and he reiterated his condemnation of all attacks that target civilians, whether they are Palestinians or Israelis” (Shlomo Shamir, ‘British PM: Violent bids to halt peace process must be stopped,’ Haaretz, March 7, 2008);

  • On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a “red line” that must not be crossed (‘Candidate Abbas confronts delicate balance on Hamas,’ Washington Times, January 3, 2005)

  • On jailed Palestinian terrorists: “our heroes.” (Israel National News, May 26, 2006); In a statement broadcast by PA radio on ‘Prisoners Day’, “Our position was and is still unwavering – that it is not possible to make peace with Israel unless all prisoners and all detainees are freed …There will be no signing of any agreement that does not guarantee freedom for all of them” (‘Palestinians mark Prisoner’s Day across the West Bank,’ Agence France Presse (AFP), April 17, 2008).

  • On the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah: A source of pride and sets an example for the “Arab resistance” (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006).



ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This call by Mahmoud Abbas – only the latest of several – for the freeing of all Palestinian terrorists is a clear index of the fact that he is neither a moderate nor peace-maker.


“Consider: if Mahmoud Abbas was serious about ending terrorism and making peace, which are signed Palestinian obligations under the Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan, the last thing he would want is to have hundreds of freed terrorists roaming the streets of the PA. A leader committed to rooting out terror would want such men to remain behind bars; he would not be agitating for their release.


Mahmoud Abbas and the PA have a long and shocking record of glorification of terror and terrorists which demonstrates, as little else can, why this is the case. It should come as no surprise that this glorification of terror and terrorism continues when Abbas’ Fatah calls to this day in its Constitution for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an essential element in the campaign to achieve that goal (Article 19). 


“The record shows that within the PA, few opportunities are missed to glorify a terrorist, celebrate a suicide bomber, or inculcate Palestinian youth into worshipping cold-blooded murderers. The record also shows that all aspects of PA life — the schools, youth movements, sports teams, newspapers, TV, even the names of streets — are made vehicles for honoring and praising terrorism. This in turn breeds more terrorists and bloodshed. Only recently, Abbas’ Fatah issued a 43rd anniversary poster, showing Israel, described as ‘Palestine‘ draped in a Palestinian head-dress, including pictures of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and a Kalashnikov rifle.


Abbas sometimes claims that he does not have a sufficiently large security force to combat terrorism. But he does not need a security force to order to stop his own media engaging in vicious anti-Jewish incitement; or to stop benefits to the families of suicide bombers; or to dismiss clerics who dehumanize Israelis and exhort their followers to murder Jews; or to stop appointing terrorists to high positions; or to cease offering terrorists sanctuary in his presidential compound; or to cease demanding the release of terrorists whose freedom imperil the prospects of peace and to which he claims in English to be dedicated.


“The United States and Israel should sever all ties to Abbas and his terror-promoting PA.”


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