Hamas celebrates Peres' death

'The Palestinian people are happy at the death of this criminal,' says Hamas spokesperson.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 2:52 PM

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Photo Mark Neyman/GPO/Flash90

Hamas welcomed the death of former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres Wednesday, calling him a "criminal", while the Palestinian Authority made no official comment after the death of the elder Israeli statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

In the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for the Islamist Hamas terrorist organization commented on Peres’ death, saying that "The Palestinian people are happy at the death of this criminal.

"Shimon Peres was one of the last Israeli founders of occupation. His death marks the end of an era in the history of the Israeli occupation," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.

Tributes to the 93-year-old poured in from across the world, but the Palestinian Authority, which was created by the the Oslo accords – of which Peres was one of the principal architects -- remained largely silent.

The Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa announced his death in a short news story, but initially no officials commented in it.

Diana Buttu, former spokeswoman for the Palestinian Authority, tweeted "Peres was an unrepentant war criminal. Revisionist history won't work."

Later, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement via Wafa, offering his condolences.

"Abbas sent a message of condolence to the family of former President Shimon Peres," Wafa reported Wednesday afternoon. "Peres was a partner in making the brave peace," referencing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the product of then-Foreign Minister Peres' sub rosa negotiations with PLO terrorists.

Peres served as Israel’s Prime Minister from 1984-1986, and again from 1995-1996. He was Israel’s ninth President from 2007-2014.

AFP contributed to this report