By Deborah Brand
(JULY 26, 2022 / BREITBART) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hailed two terrorists who were killed by Israeli troops a few days ago as “heroes,” telling their families in a phone call this week the nation of “Palestine” was in mourning for them.
In a video circulating on social media, Abbas is heard assuring the fathers of Abderahman Jamal Sobah and Mohammed al-Azizi that their sons “will reach heaven together with the other martyrs.”
Sobah and al-Azizi, who recently carried out a string of shooting attacks against Israelis, were killed during a shootout with IDF troops in the West Bank city of Nablus.
“We are all mourning,” Abbas told the fathers. “That is our fate and we can’t escape it. We must make sacrifices for the homeland.”
“May God bless all martyrs.”
The aging Palestinian leader also sent his senior aide and rumored successor, Hussein Al-Sheikh, to pay a condolence visit to the families in person.
The IDF raid in Nablus was targeting a terror cell that had been planning additional attacks, Israeli media reported. One of the cell’s chief masterminds was Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade member Ibrahim Nabalsi, who managed to escape the raid but later attended the funerals of Sobah and al-Azizi. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is the armed wing of Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction.
Abbas and the PA have lost control of many parts of the northern West Bank, Arab affairs analyst Khaled Abu Toameh wrote in The Jerusalem Post.
The presence of the gunmen on the streets in the Nablus and Jenin areas underscores the weakness of the PA, whose leaders are aware that there’s little they can do to disarm the armed groups and individuals.
The Palestinian public, meanwhile, continues to view the gunmen as “heroes” who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause. They are regarded as the defenders of the people, while the PA leaders and security forces are denounced as corrupt “traitors” and “collaborators” with Israel.
Abu Toameh goes on to note Abbas and the PA may be intentionally allowing them to carry out acts of terror so his declining popularity doesn’t suffer any further.
Following the shootout on Sunday, the PA again threatened to stop the security coordination with Israel.
The shootout, and Abbas’ subsequent praise for the terrorists, comes after meetings with President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
This article was originally published in Breitbart and can be viewed here.