Abbas Calls for UN to Investigate 'Settler Crimes'
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to form an international committee to monitor and investigate what he referred to as “crimes by Israeli settlers.”
The WAFA news agency reported that, during a meeting with UN Special Coordinator to the Middle East Robert Serry in Ramallah, Abbas gave Serry an urgent letter to deliver to Ban.
“15-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder was burnt alive, 16 Palestinians, including children and women were killed during the past two weeks, aside from the ongoing kidnapping attempts and assaults against children,” Abbas charged, according to the news agency.
“We all saw through the media the face of Tariq Abu Khder distorted with injuries by criminal settlers’ groups that must be considered illegal and illegitimate organizations,” he continued.
“I have requested an international protection for the Palestinian people, giving the Israeli authorities refusal to prosecute these settler’s groups, stressing the rise in settlers’ attacks against Palestinians, which have increased by 41% since the first half of 2014,” Abbas said, according to WAFA.
He said that these so-called “settler groups” must be treated and deemed as terrorist groups if the Israeli government actually wants peace.
“We are preparing for a set of steps to deter the Israeli aggression and curb settlers’ crimes and the ongoing attacks against our people in the besieged Gaza strip,” stressed Abbas.
“There are actions that we must take and we will take in the very near future as it is our duty to provide protection to our people,” he added.
“We say to those who fear courts that you must refrain from committing crimes; if you do not want to be prosecuted, you should not commit crimes that could drag you to all types of courts,” he threatened.
Abbas’s comments came hours after Israeli police arrested six suspects in the murder of Mohammed Abu-Khder.
The suspects, among them several minors, are believed to be Jewish, appearing to back suggestions earlier today that police had made significant headway in their investigation, and that they were almost certain the motive was "nationalistic".
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later called on the PA to locate the terrorists who abducted and murdered three Jewish teens on June 12, just as Israel located and arrested the suspected murderers of Abu-Khder.
"We know exactly who kidnapped and murdered Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, and we'll get them. The murderers came from the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority; they returned to territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority is obliged to do everything in its power to find them, just as we did, just as our security forces located the suspects in the murder of Mohammed Abu Khder within a matter of days,” he said.
"I would like to send my condolences to the Abu Khder family. I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime, which must be resolutely condemned in the most forceful language. I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will face the full weight of the law. I know that in our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers. And that's the difference between us and our neighbors. They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don't. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we'll put them in prison.
"And that's not the only difference. While we put these murderers on trial, in the Palestinian Authority, there is continuous incitement for the destruction of the State of Israel. It's a staple of the official media and the educational system,” said Netanyahu.