Abbas: Attacks are because of 'lost hope'

PA chairman dismisses incitement, attributes terror wave to lone wolf attackers who had "lost hope".

Elad Benari,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday attributed a recent spate of attacks against Israelis to lone wolf attackers who had "lost hope," i24news reported.

Speaking to a group of about 80 Palestinian Arab students and graduates in Venezuela, Abbas was quoted as having said that "our young people are taking up knives because they have no hope."

He distanced his government from the attacks and allegations of incitement by adding that "the situation in Palestine is difficult every day, and every day there are martyrs and children picking up knives on their own."

"Do not believe those who say that there are parties inciting and driving them. Rather they have lost hope," he continued, according to i24news.

This is not the first time that Abbas has used the argument that young Palestinian Arabs are frustrated and that is the reason for them carrying out attacks against Israel.

He made the same argument last year following a terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria, which he refused to condemn, saying only that the Palestinian people “live under difficult conditions” caused by “the Israeli occupation”.

Abbas has continuously refused to condemn terrorist attacks against Israelis and in one instance even argued that the current terror wave is a “legitimate peaceful protest”.

Meanwhile, Hamas in Gaza expressed a different view on the attacks, saying that it was not despair driving the attacks, but rather resistance to the "occupation", according to i24news.

Hamas spokesman Usamah Hamdan wrote to Abbas on Twitter, "To Mahmoud Abbas: Our youngsters carry knives on their own because they belong to a people of resistance, who have not been conquered by the brutality of the occupiers or security coordination with them, and not because of despair."