Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas..
(photo credit: REUTERS/ISSAM RIMAWI/POOL)
Although Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday condemned the
killing of two IDF soldiers in Kalkilya and Hebron, the Palestinian media chose
to ignore his statement.
During a meeting with Jewish leaders in New
York, Abbas said in response to a question that he condemns the killing of the
soldiers, as well as of Palestinians shot by the IDF.
Abbas was quoted as
saying that he condemns all acts of violence against civilians, and expects
Israel to denounce the killing of four Palestinians by the IDF in recent
Abbas was also quoted as saying that the two soldiers had been
killed in Area C, which is under exclusive Israeli control.
president of the Israel Policy Forum and an attendee at the meeting, said Abbas
condemned the killings after a guest asked him about it early in a Q&A
“He condemned all terrorism in all cases, and had no problem
answering that question forcefully,” Joseph said. “He said that in no uncertain
“The Palestinians are forgoing any further activity at moving
their case forward at the UN, for now, with this prisoner release,” Joseph
added. “He said virtually verbatim: Look, failure really isn’t an option for
The meeting was held during the annual general assembly of the
United Nations in New York.
Abbas attended the event before meeting with
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on
While Abbas’s statements were widely reported in some Israeli
and US media outlets, the PA’s official news agency, WAFA, did not make any
mention of the condemnation in its reporting about the New York
The agency, which reports directly to Abbas’s office, had
dispatched a correspondent to accompany the PA president on his visit to New
WAFA’s report, titled, “President says Israel should bring peace,
not settlements,” quoted Abbas as saying that he was 78 years old, has eight
grandchildren and is seeking peace.
“We have a real chance to achieve a
just, comprehensive and everlasting peace, and we could achieve this without
mistakes,” WAFA quoted Abbas as saying. “If Israel withdraws from the
territories it occupied in 1967, then 57 Arab and Islamic countries would
establish ties with Israel.”
Abbas also suggested the revival of an
Israeli-American-Palestinian committee to combat incitement, and that the State
Department finance research to look into the content of Palestinian and Israeli
The Ma’an News Agency carried a similar report by its
editor, Nasser Lahham, who is also accompanying Abbas on his visit to New
Initially, the report completely ignored Abbas’s statement about
the killing of the soldiers.
However, Lahham later filed another story,
entitled “What did Abu Mazen [Abbas] literally say about the killing of the
soldiers in the West Bank?” in which he pointed out that Abbas’s written speech
did not include any reference to the killing of the soldiers.
who is closely affiliated with Abbas, wrote that after delivering his speech,
Abbas was asked by one of the Jewish leaders about the the killing of the
Lahham quoted Abbas as replying: “They were killed in Area C,
which is under Israeli control and not under the control of the Palestinian
security. Yet, we condemn killings and ask the Israelis to condemn
killings, such as the killing of the four Palestinians. I condemn killings in
any place and we must make peace, not killings.”
Lahham quoted a PA
official as saying that Abbas had been misquoted by Israel Radio, which reported
earlier that the PA president had specifically denounced the killing of the two
soldiers.Michael Wilner contributed to this report.