Palestinian president Abbas stands between PM Haniyeh and senior Fatah leader Dahlan in Gaza.
(photo credit: SUHAIB SALEM / REUTERS)
The party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed as an achievement the killing of 11,000 Israelis ahead of a contentious upcoming election scheduled in October, the New York Times reported Friday.
The official Facebook page belonging to the Fatah party, which Abbas leads, posted the comment on Tuesday, the Times added.
“For the argumentative … the ignorant … And for those who do not know history,” begins the Facebook post, “The Fatah movement killed 11,000 Israelis.”
The post continued by stating that "170,000 martyrs" on the Palestinian side have been killed over the decades-long conflict with Israel, with hundreds of others locked inside "Israeli occupied jails."
noted that since Tuesday the post has garnered 163 likes and was shared over 30 times.
Reached for comment by the US publication, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “President Abbas’s party boasts about committing mass murder and yet it is called ‘moderate’ by many.”
“Imagine if Palestinian leaders spent their time praising coexistence instead of terror,” the spokesman added.
In kind, a representative for the PA president's office first questioned the validity of the Facebook page, then later quipped that the message was probably posted by some “hot-blooded youths.”
The controversy comes ahead of a contentious election campaign with local and municipal voting expected to take place on October 8 throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The campaign is especially wrought given that an election between Fatah and bitter Islamist faction rival Hamas has not been held in over 10 years.
Hamas, labeled a terror organization by the United States, Israel and European Union, violently overthrew Fatah officials in the West Bank the year following the last election in 2006. Relations have been frayed since, with attempts to reconcile failing repeatedly over the last decade.
And according to the Times
, Fatah officials appear to be especially nervous about the elections, with the Palestinian public viewing Hamas as less corrupt and more competent.
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