Livni Condemns Abbas Praise for Would-Be Assassin

'You can't on the one hand go round saying you condemn violence and on the other hand send letters encouraging it,' fires Justice Minister.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Left-wing Justice Minister Tzipi Livni added her voice to the chorus of condemnations against Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas's letter of condolence to the would-be assassin of Rabbi Yehuda Glick last Wednesday.

In the letter, Abbas hailed Muataz Hijazi, who shot Glick four times, as a "martyr" and branded the Israeli soldiers who killed him "terrorist gangs". Hijazi died in a firefight with security forces after he shot at police when they attempted to arrest him in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor.

In his letter, Abbas expressed his "anger and condemnation after news of the criminal, despicable assassination by the Israeli occupation army's terrorist gangs of Muataz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who died a martyr defending the rights of our people and the holy places".

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman led condemnations of the letter, citing it as proof Mahmoud Abbas was not a viable partner for peace with Israel.

"The letter of support indicates, more than anything, that Abu Mazen is, indeed, a partner: a partner to terror, a partner to terrorists, a partner to murderers."

"Abu Mazen's despicable letter constitutes open support for terror and encouragement for additional murders," the foreign minister added. He called upon the international community "to vomit [or purge - ed.] and denounce this man, who is leading the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to violent, terrible places."

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also condemned the message in a statement released late on Sunday.

"While we are trying to calm the situation, Abu Mazen (Abbas) sends his condolences on the death of a man who tried to commit a despicable act," he said. . "The time has come for the international community to condemn him for such actions.

Even Israel's head negotiator with the PA, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who has constantly insisted that Abbas is a viable "partner for peace," accused the PA leader of "playing with fire".  

"You can't on the one hand go round saying you condemn violence and on the other hand send letters encouraging it," she said.

It is not the first time Abbas has been accused of inciting violence. 

Prior to the shooting of Glick, as well as the deadly attack on the Jerusalem Light Rail before it, the PA chief called on Muslims to prevent Jews from ascending the Temple Mount using "all means necessary."

Glick - who founded and heads the LIBA Initiative for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount - was shot in the chest on Wednesday night outside the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, after the shooter pulled up in a motorcycle or scooter, and confirmed Glick's identity before shooting. 

He had been speaking, minutes before being shot, at an event for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount that had hosted leading religious figures and MKs. 

AFP contributed to this report.




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