(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority on Sunday reacted strongly to Israel’s decision to build hundreds of housing units in the settlements in response to Friday night’s terror attack in Itamar.
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It also accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of exploiting the Itamar killings to incite against the PA and its leaders.
The decision is wrong and unacceptable, said Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas. “The climate that this decision creates only creates problems,” he added.
“Peace requires courageous decisions. The decision will destroy everything and will lead to many problems.”
PA Minister for Settlements and the [separation] Wall, Maher Ghnaim,
said he did not rule out the possibility that settlers were behind the
He said that the settlers’ goal was to “justify their crimes” in the
West Bank, establish additional housing units and confiscate more land.
“It’s possible that this incident was created so that it could be used
as an excuse for all what the settlers do,” Ghnaim told the Qudsnet news
“This incident shows that only settlers benefit from it. This indicates that they may have created this excuse.”
Referring to the decision to build new housing units, the Palestinian
minister accused the Israeli government of seeking to create new facts
on the ground by force. “These measures don’t prepare the atmosphere for
a real peace process,” Ghnaim said. “The government and the settlers
are exploiting the incident. They have a plan to present the settlers as
victims and the Palestinians as aggressors.”
Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction also condemned the decision to build new
housing units and called on the international community to intervene to
stop “settler crimes against our defenseless people.”
Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf also urged the international community to
pressure Israel to reverse the decision, which he decision, which he
condemned as “inflammatory.”
Israel, he added, was “exploiting the Itamar incident to incite against
President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority and to announce
plans to build new housing units in an attempt to solve its internal
The Fatah spokesman dismissed Israeli allegations of incitement. “If
they mean that we have been exposing crimes of settlers and the
occupation, then the question is: Why do they perpetrate these crimes?”