Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks with journalists at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Palestinians expressed surprise over the weekend regarding a report that said Israel had apologized to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after IDF soldiers came too close to his home in Ramallah.
The report in Defense News said the incident occurred last week and involved Abbas’s personal security forces and a special Israeli military unit deployed to arrest a Palestinian in south Ramallah.
The report said Abbas’s guards refused to allow the soldiers to pass through the barriers erected as safety zone around the vicinity of Abbas’s residence.
“A heated face-off ensued, with shouting, threats and some physical scuffles between the two sides, but no shots were fired,” Defense News reported.
A senior Palestinian security commander said that a formal apology was issued on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the incident.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat was quoted as saying that the incident illustrated the routine “humiliations” and “utter disregard” that Israel has for Abbas and the PA.
Hassan Khraisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said that Israel’s apology was an attempt to draw a distinction between Abbas and the Palestinians.
“Netanyahu’s apology was aimed at showing that President Abbas receives special treatment from Israel, while the Palestinians are facing violence and death,” he said.
Khraisheh called on Abbas to reject Netanyahu’s apology by emphasizing that Abbas is “part of the Palestinian people and not a different party that receives different treatment from the occupation.”
Many Palestinians took to social media to voice their outrage over the incident and demand that Abbas reject the apology. Some said that the apology was proof of continued security coordination between the PA and Israel.