Yaalon: PA 'Culture of Jihad' Caused Terror Attack

The PA's culture is now, and has always been, one of incitement against the Jews, says Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

Yaakov Levi,

Scene of light rail terror attack
Scene of light rail terror attack
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority's culture is now, and has always been, one of incitement and encouraging Muslim holy war (jihad) against the Jews, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Thursday. With the comments, Yaalon was joining with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who blamed Wednesday's terror attack against Jews in Jerusalem on PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, who he said took every opportunity to incite against Israel.

Speaking at a gathering in Washington, Yaalon said that the PA has never sought peace. “The terror attack Wednesday is the natural outcome of the education to incitement against Jews given to every Palestinian schoolchild, and the encouraging of the concept that the Jews will eventually be eliminated. The incitement starts with lies told by Abbas at the UN,” he said, citing an anti-Israel speech made by Abbas at the UN General Assembly earlier this month, and “continues with cynical Palestinian attempts to deligitimize in the international community, and ends in the terrible incitement in the Palestinian educational system.”

Yaalon stressed that the latest attack should be a lesson to those who think that the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians is territorial. “It is not about land, they are not prepared to recognize our right to exist in any border,” he said.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu specifically blamed the PA for Wednesday's terror attack in Jerusalem, in remarks made to the Government Press Office during a security briefing on the attack. "This is how Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas - ed.]'s partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who – only a few days ago – incited toward a terrorist attack in Jerusalem," the Prime Minister said.

The attack occurred when a Hamas terrorist from the neighborhood of Silwan arrived with his car at the Givat Hatachmoshet (Ammunition Hill) Light Rail stop and ran over the people who were there, killing an infant. Eight other people were injured in the attack. A Jerusalem police officer shot the terrorist and seriously wounded him after he attempted to flee from the scene on foot. The terrorist died in hospital later on Wednesday.

The baby who was murdered in the attack, three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun, was laid to rest in Jerusalem on Wednesday night. The funeral was attended by hundreds, including President Reuven Rivlin, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Rivlin, who spoke at the funeral said, "The incitement on the Arab street and around Jerusalem is increasing, the incitement which is backed by the leadership in the Arab world, can wreak havoc on the delicate fabric of life in Jerusalem, and carry us all into a maelstrom of destruction and pain.”

Wednesday’s attack is the latest in what has come to be known as the "silent intifada". Throughout this time period, Arab extremists have rioting and carrying out violent attacks in Jerusalem on a daily basis.

The deadly attack took place one day after the police announced the formation of a new task force to combat ongoing violence in Jerusalem.