After weekend of terror, Abbas says Palestinians attack Israelis 'because they've lost hope'

Abbas's comments come after a violent weekend that saw six attacks within a 48-hour period in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

September 18, 2016 14:15
1 minute read.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday apparently attempted to distance the PA establishment from the recent spate of terror attacks against Israelis, saying the perpetrators conducted such violence on their own initiative.

He described the lone-wolf attackers as "martyrs" and youth who "have lost hope."

Without referring directly to this weekend's spate of attacks, Abbas nonetheless asserted that the PA condemns terrorism in all of its forms.

"Everyday we have martyrs, and youth who are carrying knives," he said at a meeting with Palestinian students and graduates on Venezuela's Margarita Island, where he is attending a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

"Do not believe those who say there is someone pushing them [the attackers] or inciting them," he added. "They do this on their own initiative, because they have lost hope and therefore go out with knives to carry out terrorist stabbings."

While Abbas called for acts of "peaceful popular resistance" against Israel, he said that "the hands of the Palestinians are extended for peace."

Abbas's comments came after a relatively quiet period was shattered by a violent weekend that saw six attacks within a 48-hour period against Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Three soldiers and four civilians were lightly wounded in the attacks, which occurred in Efrat, Hebron, Kiryat Arba, at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem and outside Ma’aleh Adumim. One Jordanian and three Palestinian assailants were killed and two Palestinian attackers were wounded.

Turning to the pending Palestinian elections in the West Bank, Abbas on Sunday asserted that his Fatah party disagrees "about everything" with rival Hamas.

However, he stated that "Hamas is a part of the Palestinian people, and we do not deny that."

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