'Why did people line up to shake Abbas's hand?'

Jewish Home chairman surprised to see so many senior Israeli officials standing in line to shake hands with PA chairman at Peres funeral.

Hezki Baruch ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett was surprised to see so many senior Israeli officials standing in line to shake hands with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the funeral of Shimon Peres.

"I could not understand why Israelis stood in line to shake hands with Abbas, who encourages the murder of Israelis and who pays pensions to the families of terrorist murderers. Let him stop funerals before coming to a funeral," wrote Bennett.

Abbas, who asked and received Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's permission to attend Peres's funeral, was seen shaking hands with both Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

Netanyahu told Abbas that he appreciated his coming to attend the funeral, while Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, told the PA chairman that she is looking forward to hosting him at their home.

President Rivlin told Abbas and his entourage that it was important to build confidence between the two sides. Abbas expressed his desire that they would meet under different circumstances.

Abbas's presence at Peres's funeral was criticized not just by Bennett but also by his own people.

In a Facebook post Friday morning, Abbas's own movement, Fatah, criticized his decision to attend the funeral, but also said that “despite our displeasure with the President’s attendance at Peres’ funeral, we know [he is just as patriotic as we are] and we don’t have all the information.”

Fatah's longtime rival Hamas, meanwhile, used Abbas’s avowed appreciation for Peres to portray him as a traitor to his people.