Abbas Denies Condemning Hevron Murder
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's office wasted no time on Wednesday in denying reports that he condemned the terrorist attack the occurred near Hevron on Monday.
The attack left Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi dead and two others, including his pregnant wife, wounded.
Leftist MKs who met with Abbas on Wednesday as Mizrahi was being buried told Israeli media that Abbas had condemned the murder, as well as "all other terror attacks." The supposed condemnation was seen by many as a ploy to bolster the PA's image.
However, something was apparently lost in translation in the meeting between Abbas and the leftist MKs, as Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh recalled Abbas's statements quite differently.
Rudeineh quoted Abbas as saying "we are against violence and a return to violence," but not specifically condemning the Hevron attack at all.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night criticized PA incitement for being responsible for Mizrahi's murder.
"This reprehensible murder of a man who was traveling with his family to a meal for the Festival of Freedom is the result of the incitement for which the Palestinian Authority is responsible," Netanyahu said.
Israel later cancelled a planned meeting with PA negotiators to continue peace talks in light of the murder.