In the wake of Friday's Land Day protests in Israel and abroad, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Saturday accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of carrying out "political terrorism" against Israel.
Palestinian activists called for a "Global March to Jerusalem" to coincide with the 36th anniversary of so-called Land Day on Friday, and although there were rallies in Israel, police said crowd numbers were relatively small and largely trouble free. The march's organizers claimed that pro-Palestinian rallies were held in 84 countries, but activists did not storm Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria as had been feared. Protests turned violent in areas of the West Bank and Gaza, where a man was shot and killed when he tried to breach the border fence.
"The events of Land Day are an additional expression of the conflict strategy which the Palestinians lead and a continuation of the political terror which Abu Mazen [Abbas] perpetrates against Israel in international forums," Ayalon stated at a cultural event in Bat Yam on Saturday.
Prior to Friday's events, the PLO Executive Committee called on Palestinians to participate in mass protests in order to "affirm the Arab and Palestinian character of Jerusalem.”
Ayalon vowed that Israel would continue to "successfully handle" Palestinian attempts to "force unilateral steps" on Israel "at the UN and on the ground."
The deputy foreign minister said that Israel would increasingly make use of what he termed "E-diplomacy" to spread its message to "many millions in the world, directly and without any middle man."
Last year, as part of his E-diplomacy campaign, Ayalon released YouTube videos entitled "The Truth About the Peace Process" and "The Truth About the West Bank" in which he attempted to present a historical narrative meant to help wage Israel's public diplomacy battle.
"Social media in general and YouTube in particular are major battlegrounds in the clash of narratives and public diplomacy. It is vital that a strong rights-based Israeli presence is seen and heard, especially for the YouTube demographics who are more interested in easy to digest explanations,” Ayalon's office said in a statement released last year.