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Livni attacks Abbas for sending condolences to Hijazi family

November 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm

The condolence letter sent by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the family of Moataz Hijazi, a Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on the rooftop of his home, still provokes a sense of rage from the Israeli government; Justice Minister Tzipi Livni described Abbas’ remarks as “not only risible but also dangerous”.

Livni said: “You can’t on the one hand go round saying you condemn violence and on the other hand send letters encouraging it.” The move “could lead [Abbas] to lose control” of the Palestinian street amid rising Arab-Israeli tensions, “and the responsibility for that would also fall on Abbas”.

She also criticised right-wing Jewish groups who sought to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, telling Israel Radio that such efforts had the potential to “change the conflict with the Palestinians into a regional conflict with all the states of the Arab and Muslim world, including Jordan and Egypt.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to condemn Abbas for his condolences to Hijazi’s family, a man who was killed by Israeli forces who suspected him of the attempted murder of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a far-right activist.

In a statement issued on Sunday evening, Netanyahu said: “While we’re trying to calm tempers, Abbas sends a condolence letter for the death of someone who attempted to commit a despicable murder. It’s time the international community condemn him for such deeds.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman described Abbas as a “partner for terror”. The letter, Lieberman explained, “testifies more than anything else to the fact that Abbas is indeed a partner: a partner for terror, a partner to terrorists, a partner of murderers”.

Abbas’ letter amounts to “open support for terror and encouragement of further murders,” he wrote.

“I call on the international community to reject and condemn this man who is leading the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a violent, frightful place.”