Bibi blames Ab­bas for ‘in­cite­ment’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

THE ROLE of the Pales­tinian lead­er­ship in in­cit­ing the latest round of vi­o­lence has been hotly de­bated within the Is­raeli es­tab­lish­ment.

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu has ac­cused Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas and his col­leagues of in­cit­ing the Pales­tinian public to carry out terror at­tacks by ac­cus­ing Is­raeli Jews of “de­fil­ing” the Al Aqsa Mosque on Tem­ple Mount.

At the same time, both the Shin Bet se­cu­rity ser­vice and the IDF’s mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence be­lieve that Mr Ab­bas and his se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus — de­spite not en­er­get­i­cally curb­ing the vi­o­lence — re­main as a “mod­er­at­ing in­flu­ence” in the West Bank.

This is partly ow­ing to the PA’s ri­valry with Ha­mas, which called from Gaza for a “Jerusalem In­tifada” and hailed the terror at­tacks on Jews as acts of hero­ism. The PA mean­while has nei­ther ex­plic­itly en­dorsed nor con­demned any of the acts of vi­o­lence in re­cent weeks.

In a speech to the Knes­set on Tues­day, Mr Ne­tanyahu ad­dressed Mr Ab­bas and said that he and his peo­ple must “stop ly­ing and stop in­cit­ing”.

He ac­cused the Pales­tinian lead­er­ship of in­ten­tion­ally mis­con­stru­ing the ac­tions of Is­rael’s se­cu­rity forces and its pol­icy on the Tem­ple Mount, as an at­tempt to uni­lat­er­ally change the sta­tus quo, thereby in­flam­ing the ten­sion.

Mr Ab­bas him­self kept a rel­a­tively low pro­file this week, but some of his clos­est aides con­tin­ued a bar­rage of pro­pa­ganda against Is­rael. Saeb Erekat, the for­mer chief Pales­tinian ne­go­tia­tor, ac­cused Mr Ne­tanyahu of be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the cur­rent cy­cle of vi­o­lence.

Mr Ab­bas’s spokesman, Na­bil Abu Rudeinah, ac­cused Is­rael of ex­e­cut­ing the 13-year-old Pales­tinian who took part in the at­tack on Mon­day in the Jerusalem neigh­bour­hood of Pis­gat Zeev. De­spite the fact the teenager was not killed — he was wounded and ar­rested — Pales­tinian media de­scribed him as a “mar­tyr”.

Mem­bers of the Joint Arab List also re­fused to de­nounce the re­cent at­tacks or call for calm. But at the same time they also de­cided not to defy Mr Ne­tanyahu’s di­rec­tive against Knes­set mem­bers of all par­ties and re­li­gions en­ter­ing the Tem­ple Mount.

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