Mike Pence and David Friedman
Mike Pence and David FriedmanREUTERS

A spokesperson for Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas accused the US Ambassador to Israel of having divided loyalties, and blamed the ambassador for the recent spate of violence in the region.

Nabil Abu Rudeinah, a spokesperson for Abbas, said Wednesday that US Ambassador David Friedman had provided terrorists with “pretexts for… acts of violence”, and was “making the situation more tense”, the PA’s Wafa media outlet reported on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Ambassador Friedman slammed Palestinian Arab leaders following a deadly terror attack in the city of Ariel Monday, noting that many had “praised the killer”.

“20 years ago I gave an ambulance to Har Bracha hoping it would be used to deliver healthy babies. Instead, a man from Har Bracha was just murdered by a terrorist, leaving behind a wife and four children. Palestinian ‘leaders’ have praised the killer. Praying for the BenGal family,” the Ambassador tweeted.

The Palestinian Authority declined to issue any condemnation of the attack at the time, while terror groups including Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the murder as a “heroic act”.

In response, on Wednesday Abbas’ spokesman claimed Friedman had given terrorists the “pretext” for their attacks.

“The only way to end violence in the region and the world is to solve the Palestinian issue based on United Nations resolutions that call for an end to the occupation and the creation of the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

“Rather than contributing to the creation of atmospheres for peace, Ambassador Friedman is instead making the situation more tense by providing pretexts for such acts of violence, which we reject. We affirm that the policy of President and the Palestinian leadership is peaceful popular resistance. We stress our rejection and condemnation of this harmful behavior by Ambassador Friedman.”

Abu Rudeinah also accused Friedman of sabotaging the US-PA relationship.

“The ambassador’s advice and consultations, which are not aimed at achieving a just peace based on international legality, have led to this crisis in US-Palestinian relations.”

The PA spokesman also invoked the classic anti-Semitic canard of dual loyalty, suggesting the ambassador was representing Israel, rather than the Trump administration.

“The statements by the US ambassador lead us to wonder about the ambassador’s relationship with the occupation: Does he represent the US or Israel?”