Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must stop his murderous campaign of lies which has incited Palestinians to attack Israelis with knives and axes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday night.
Abbas: 'Israeli government executing our sons in cold blood'
“Abu Mazen [Abbas] is inciting murder,” Netanyahu charged as he called on the international community to stop excusing the Palestinian leader’s actions.
“Make him accountable and stop trying to justify him in any way – not with settlements, not with the peace process, not with anything,” said Netanyahu.
In a voice filled with emotion, he added: “The first order of the day in fighting terrorism is moral clarity. Nothing justifies terrorism, nothing exonerates it. Stop trying to explain it away.”
Video of Palestinian stabber proves Abbas' 'execution' victim still alive
He spoke in English and Hebrew at a briefing in Jerusalem for both the foreign and Israeli press held at the end of two weeks in which Palestinian terrorists carried out 23 attacks against Israelis that killed eight people and wounded at least 70.
The violence is the direct result of false Palestinian charges that Israel is attempting to take over the Temple Mount and is executing Palestinians, Netanyahu said at the press event designed to present Israel's case to the world.
He spoke just one day after Abbas delivered a speech on both points and then claimed that Israel had killed Ahmed Manasra, 13. The young teen along with his 15-year old cousin had stabbed a 13-year old Israeli in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood on Tuesday.
A bloody photograph of Manasra lying on the ground after the stabbing, with wounds he sustained from Israeli security forces, was widely circulated on social media with charges that Israel had killed him in cold blood.
On Thursday Israel released photographs of the boy in pajamas with a bandaged on his head, recovering at Hadassah Medical Center.
“Yesterday Abbas accused Israel of putting to death an innocent Palestinian boy,” said Netanyahu in a reference to Manasra.
“First of all he (Manasra) is not dead, he is alive. Second, he is not innocent. He tried to kill, murder – knife to death an innocent Israel youngster, 13 years old, riding his bike,” said Netanyahu.
He noted that the person who was seriously injured in the incident was the Israeli boy, who had just left a candy store on his bicycle when he was attacked. Reporters were shown a security video of the attack.
“The only way we can fight this big lie all the other lies that are hurled at Israel and spread on Palestinian social networks is to tell the truth,” said Netanyahu.
He added that he expects the international community to condemn Palestinian incitement to murder.
The link was clear because a number of the attacker written on Facebook about the need to protect Al-Aksa.
“We expect our friends... to see the truth and not draw false symmetry between Israeli citizens and those who would stab them and knife them to death,” he said
He took issue with US State Department spokesman John Kirby, who characterized Israeli response to terrorism as a potential “excessive use of force.”
“This allegation is totally false. It is clearly unfair, it is so obviously patently false. I expect fair- ness and to put blame where it is due,” he said.
Israeli uses the “amount of legitimate force” that any police force would use in a similar situation, Netanyahu said.
“What would happen in New York if they saw people rushing into crowds trying to murder people? What would happen in London, in Paris, Rome, Moscow or anywhere else?” he asked.
He also dismissed claims by Kerry, who earlier this week accused Israel of “massive settlement building” and appeared to link “frustration” over that activity with the outbreak of violence. No such massive building has occurred, he said, nor was that the reason for the violence.
Those perpetuating the attacks are frustrated that Israel exists, he said. “They don’t want us here, if they are frustrated, that frustration will continue, we will continue to be here.”
Ofir Gendelman, Netanyahu Arabic language spokesman, gave a presentation on Palestinian incitement in which he cited Abbas’s comments that Jews were defiling the Temple Mount with their “filthy feet.”
He showed examples of Fatah propaganda calling for stabbing attacks in order to protect al-Aksa Mosque including a poster with a photograph of Jewish man who had been stabbed a picture of the mosque in the background.
“Thousands of posters and memes have called on Palestinians to perpetrate stabbing attacks,” he said.
On October 9th, Muhammad Ja’abri stabed a police officer in Kiryat Arba. Fourteen hours earlier he had updated his Facebook page to include pictures of al-Aksa and a call to “fight for its liberation,” Gentleman said.
Hamas has played its role in the incitement as well, Gendelman said, presenting a “gruesome video instructing Palestinians how to stab Israelis to death.”
PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said in response to Netanyahu’s press conference, “Mr. Netanyahu’s attack on President Abbas is a failed attempt to distract from the fact that Palestinian civilians, including children, are being systematically targeted for extra-judicial executions by Israel.
“The picture of Ahmad Manasra, the Palestinian child who was left to bleed on the street, clearly shows Israel’s disregard to Palestinian human life. Ahmad was run over by an Israeli occupying forces’ vehicle. While he didn’t constitute a threat following the incident, he was later beaten and abused by the Israeli settler bystanders under the protection of the Israeli armed forces,” Erekat said.
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