Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and Joint List lawmakers found the culprit for the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv that took four lives – not just the two terrorists from Yatta, but the “occupation” and the government, they said Thursday.
Joint List head Ayman Odeh (Hadash) responded to the killing of four Israelis in Tel Aviv saying: “I condemn and feel the pain of the terrible blow to civilians.”
“My heart goes out to the families. An attack against innocent people is always reprehensible. There can be no justification for shooting civilians in the street,” he said.
Odeh went on to attack the current government, which “only leads to a deepening of hatred and violence.”
“Remove all Palestinian and Israeli citizens from the cycle of terror and bloodshed. We must fight together to bring an end to the occupation, and do the right thing for justice and peace for both peoples.”
Joint List MKs Ahmad Tibi and Osama Saadi condemned Wednesday night’s attack and any government “immoral collective punishment against the Palestinians” in response.
“We reject attacks on civilians in every way. Such an act does not advance Palestinian rights,” they said. “As Ta’al [their party in the Joint List] has been saying for 20 years, civilians should be removed from the cycle of violence and the occupation should end.”
Similarly, when asked on Army Radio if there is a chance for peace when Palestinians celebrated the attack on civilians at a café by handing out candies, Huldai blamed the “occupation” and not the celebrants.
“We might be the only country in the world where another nation is under occupation without civil rights,” Huldai claimed, though there are more than 200 territorial disputes worldwide. “You can’t hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they’ll reach the conclusion everything is alright.”
Huldai encouraged dialogue when there is a lull in terrorism, saying that “no one has the courage to take a step toward attempting some kind of agreement.
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan responded to Huldai during an address to the Institute of National Security Studies.
“I heard the mayor of Tel Aviv saying the ‘occupation’ is to blame, or that it’s because we don’t have a peace treaty with the Palestinians, and that’s why we have terrorism,” Ben-Dahan began.
“I want to remind him that there was terrorism here 100 years ago, and in 1929 [in the Hebron massacre] Jews were murdered and there was no State of Israel. There wasn’t even an ‘occupation.’”
Also Thursday, Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich expressed disappointment that the terrorists in Tel Aviv were not killed at the site of the attack.
“I’m very concerned by the fact that the terrorists left the scene alive yesterday,” Smotrich wrote on Twitter. “A terrorist who goes to harm Jews should not come back alive, period.”
In a subsequent statement Huldai clarified his position, by stating that he does not support Palestinian celebrations of terror or their actions in any way.
Upon visiting the injured in the hospitals and condemning the terror attack against innocent people, he reiterated his stand that the occupation must end by reaching a political solution with recognized international borders.