Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) criticized on Wednesday the comments of Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yoram Cohen, who denied that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was intentionally inciting terrorism.
"Abbas is calling for jihad in Jerusalem," Bennett said. "A few weeks ago he [Abbas] said 'Don't let these pieces of garbage, the Jews, go up to al-Aksa. Stop them in any way.' I don't know what's come over Yoram on this matter. I'm going to speak to him. He is a good person. Maybe he was just misunderstood."
Cohen's comments contradicted statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon following a wave of terror attacks.
According to sources in the committee, which took place behind closed doors, Cohen said that Abbas and the Palestinian leadership had no interest in encouraging terrorism and that he was not inciting violence.
However, Cohen added that some could interpret Abbas’s statements as encouraging to terrorists.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.