Palestinians in the West Bank are demanding the dismissal of a PA minister who publicly condemned last week’s terrorist attack, which claimed the life of a police officer near Hebron, Israel Radio reported on Saturday.
Endowments Minister Mahmoud El Habash told Israeli reporters in Ramallah earlier last week that he was “pained” by the murder of 47-year-old Baruch Mizrahi, who was killed as he was driving with his family to a Seder in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba.
“We condemn the killing of all people irrespective of their background,” El Habash was quoted as saying by Army Radio. “The idea of killing and violence is completely illegitimate.”
El Habash also said, “Palestinian blood, just like Israeli blood, is dear and humane” and “the color of Palestinian blood is the same as Israeli blood.”
According to Israel Radio, these remarks prompted Palestinians in the territories to demand El Habash be removed from his ministerial post and be put on trial.
Leaflets are being circulated in Gaza with El Habash’s picture branding him “the wayward son,” while Palestinians on Facebook have threatened to kill the minister. In doctored images that have been placed on posters, El Habash has been dressed in ultra-Orthodox garb.
Israeli lawmakers who met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week said the Palestinian leader also condemned the shooting of Mizrahi, and that Ramallah was eager to investigate the matter and bring those responsible to justice.
The government has criticized the PA for permitting anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement, which it says legitimizes acts of terrorism.
Immediately following the attack on Monday night, Israeli MKs demanded the PA condemn the shooting.