Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed responsibility for Wednesday morning’s stabbing attack in Tel Aviv on the shoulders of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, accusing him of allowing vicious incitement against Jews and their state.
“This same terrorism tries to hit us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere,” Netanyahu said.
He and Abbas walked together in the front row of the massive march against terrorism in Paris two weeks ago.
In a statement, the prime minister pointed out that Hamas had quickly praised the attack – the same Hamas that Abbas had as a partner in his unity government and “that has announced that it will file a petition against Israel at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”
Abbas was “responsible for both the incitement and the dangerous move at the ICC,” the prime minister declared.
Netanyahu spoke to the commander of the Nahshon unit whose men shot and arrested the terrorist, and praised them for their determined action that saved lives.
“We will continue to take strong action against the terrorism that has been trying to attack us since the establishment of the state, and we will make sure that it does not achieve its goals,” Netanyahu said.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said the terrorist who had carried out the attack was part of the same broad movement whose goal was simply to undermine the right of the Jews to live in a state of their own.
Those behind this attack, he said, are the same as those who stood behind the recent riots in Rahat
and the wave of attacks last month in Jerusalem: Abbas, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Raed Salah from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Arab MKs Haneen Zoabi (Balad) and Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) “and their partners.”
For them, there is no difference among “Judea, Samaria, the Negev, the Galilee, Tel Aviv or Jerusalem,” Liberman said.
“We have to act decisively against all those people who operate under different names on different levels, but who all have the same purpose: to kill Jews and eliminate Israel,” he said.
Meanwhile, French Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave – whose country is still reeling from three terrorist attacks that killed 17 people two weeks ago – said he was shocked by the Tel Aviv stabbings, and that France “strongly condemns the attack, which took place just a few days after the terrorist attacks that struck Paris.”
The struggle against terrorism “was and will continue to be a top priority for France,” Maisonnave said.
The US, Australian and EU embassies in Israel all quickly condemned the attack.
The British Foreign Office spoke out against the stabbings, with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond calling it a “cowardly and senseless attack” that would only “undermine the cause of peace.” Hammond called on all to “ensure calm.”