Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) gave a speech in New York on Tuesday, at an event in honor of Gilad Sha'ar (16), Naftali Frenkel (16) and Eyal Yifrah (19), the three youths abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12 who were buried side-by-side in Modi'in yesterday.
"It is Israel's right to defend itself, and it is its obligation to defend its citizens. The murder of the boys is a direct and clear result of the terror government that currently serves in the Palestinian Authority (PA) - and no whitewashing of words can change that," declared Akunis.
Akunis's statements at the event, which was organized by the Israeli consulate in New York and attended by US Congressmen, Senators and leaders of the American Jewish community, referred to the PA's unity government with Hamas, the terrorist organization behind the brutal murder.
The minister may have hinted at PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's statements in Saudi Arabia last month, when he condemned the kidnappings while playing victim, saying “those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us (the PA). We will hold them accountable."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to Abbas's comments after the identities of the two main Hamas terrorists behind the abduction were revealed, saying “I expect Abbas to live up to the important things he said in Saudi Arabia. Let him stand behind the comments he made and break the agreement with Hamas."
Further, Fatah has a terrorist wing called Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which made a joint statement along with Hamas and other terrorists groups following the kidnapping, in which it called Israel a "racist occupier that only understands the language of force."
Akunis has previously argued that the new unity government, which many argued would give Abbas control over Hamas, has had exactly the opposite effect, strengthening Hamas's influence in Judea and Samaria.