(photo credit: REUTERS)
Several Palestinian media outlets on Saturday quoted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as accusing Israel of using “wild pigs” against Palestinians in the West Bank.
Abbas’s allegation was made during a speech he delivered at a pro-Palestinian conference in Ramallah on Friday night.
The charge was omitted from reports published by official PA media.
This was not the first time the PA accused Israel of releasing pigs to destroy agricultural fields in the West Bank.
In the past, the PA has claimed the IDF and settlers released wild pigs in Palestinian- owned lands to damage crops and intimidate farmers.
“Every night, they [Israelis] release wild pigs against us,” Abbas was quoted as saying in his speech. “Why are they doing this to us?” He also accused Israel of using false pretexts to prevent Palestinians from entering their lands in the West Bank.
Abbas also called for establishing “bridges of love” with Israelis “instead of the racist separation fence,” and warned, once again, against the eruption of a religious war while calling on Israelis “not to come close to our holy sites, just as we don’t come near your synagogues.”
Abbas added: “The Jews know very well that we seek peace and not war. We want to live as a free people in our land Palestine. We don’t want war and violence. We are opposed to all forms of violence, here and abroad.”
On Saturday, Abbas told Fatah leaders in Ramallah he was determined to pursue his statehood bid with the UN Security Council.
Arab League foreign ministers were scheduled to meet at the end of this month to discuss the Palestinian bid, which calls for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, he said.
An Israeli government official responded to Abbas’s charge about the wild boars, saying it would “be laughable, if it wasn’t so dangerous.”
The official said this allegation was similar to one made in 2010 by the Egyptian governor of the south Sinai claiming a shark attack near Sharm e-Sheikh may have been triggered by the Mossad to harm Egyptian tourism.
“It’s a pity the Palestinian Authority president choses to propagate such rubbish, and it raises questions about his real position on Israel,” the official said, adding that the remarks were dangerous because “they fit into a consistent and ongoing pattern of incitement.”