Palestinian Authority Chairman’s Mahmoud Abbas’ appointing of a freed terrorist as an advisor did not surprise terror victim Dov Kalmanovitz.
Kalmanovitz was the first person to be wounded in a terror attack in the First Intifada. On January 31, 1988, an Arab boy through a petrol bomb at him on the outskirts of Ramallah as he was making his way home.
Kalmanovitz was critically wounded with third-degree burns on 75% of his body. His life was saved when a passing driver stopped and rolled Kalmanovitz in sand, and he was then taken to the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Despite his critical condition he was able to survive and subsequently underwent a long rehabilitation process.
Kalmanovitz told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that Abbas’ appointing of Mahmoud Damara, who was arrested in 2006 for involvement in the shooting and bombing to death of Israelis and who was freed in the recent Shalit deal, is a blatant violation of the feelings of the bereaved families.
“When the terrorists were freed the Prime Minister’s Office promised that it would make sure the terrorists won’t return to terrorism,” he said. “And now Abbas is taking the same terrorist to be his advisor so that they can plan the next kidnapping.”
He added, “To appoint such a person as a political advisor the night before negotiations is like sticking a finger in the eyes of the bereaved families. On the one hand we’re having peace negotiations with them and on the other hand they do anything in their power to upset us.”
The announcement of the terrorist’s appointment came a day before PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli delegate Yitzhak Molcho met in the Jordanian capital Amman for talks with representatives of the international Quartet.
Officials in Jerusalem and Ramallah have downplayed the meeting, but Abbas said on Tuesday he hoped the meeting would jump-start the moribund peace process.
“God willing, results of this meeting will be revealed in the coming two days, and based on that we will set the suitable grounds for resuming negotiations,” Abbas told reporters.