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      Fayyad: Palestinian Cause Does Not Justify Terror

      PA prime minister Salam Fayyad lambasted Otzar HaTorah shooter Mohammad Merah calling him a 'terrorist' and 'criminal'
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 3/21/2012, 5:55 PM

      Salam Fayyad
      Salam Fayyad
      Flash 90

      Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad said Wednesday that extremists must stop using "the Palestinian cause" as a justification for terror.

      "It is time for these criminals to stop marketing their terrorist acts in the name of Palestine and to stop pretending to stand up for the rights of Palestinian children who only ask for a decent life," Fayyad said in a statement.

      His remarks were made in response to reports that the suspect in the horrific murders of three Jewish children and a rabbi in Toulouse on Monday wanted to "take revenge for Palestinian children."

      French Foreign Minister Claude Gueant identified the shooter as 23-year-old Mohammed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin.

      The suspect "wants to take revenge for Palestinian children" killed in the Middle East and "has various grievances with the French military," Gueant said as police laid siege to Merah's apartment.

      Merah is presently locked in a standoff with hundreds of French police in the southern city of Toulouse. Earlier, three police officers were wounded in an exchange of fire with Merah.

      In Monday's attack, the gunman opened fire on a group of parents and children at Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse.

      Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 3, and 8-year-old Myriam Monsenego were laid to rest in Jerusalem even as police began their siege on Merah's hideout.

      Fayyad unleashed a fusillade of criticism at Merah and his attack.

       "This terrorist crime is condemned in the strongest terms by the Palestinian people and their children," Fayyad said. "No Palestinian child can accept a crime that targets innocent people."