PMO, Abbas trade barbs over settler condemnation

Prime Minister Office slams PA president for saying Israeli condemnation of settler "price tag" attacks are insincere.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 370 (R) (photo credit: Luis Galdamez / Reuters)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 370 (R)
(photo credit: Luis Galdamez / Reuters)
The Prime Minister’s Office slammed PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday for saying that the government’s condemnations of the “price tag” vigilante attacks against churches and mosques were disingenuous.
“Don’t believe that those who attacked the monastery in Latrun [last Monday], and mosques and churches did it spontaneously, on their own and alone,” Abbas said on Saturday night at a press conference in Ramallah. “The Netanyahu government condemns these things, but it is not right,” he said. “If this was one of ours [who carried out these types of actions], they [the Israelis] would go crazy and say we were encouraging terrorism.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said that to imply that the government was “anything but totally opposed to vigilante violence is an atrocious perversion of the truth.” Regev said that Netanyahu dismissed Abbas’s statements as “ridiculous.”
Netanyahu, as well as the country’s top leadership from President Shimon Peres down, roundly condemned a recent spate of attacks that included a firebomb attack near Bat Ayin, the beating of an Arab youth in Jerusalem and the vandalism at the Latrun Monastery.
“Insinuating that the Israeli government is supportive of these acts is not only the opposite of the truth, but sends a message of hatred, confrontation and demonization of Israel,” Regev said. “This is the opposite of what the [PA] leadership should be doing.”
Regev pointed out that those responsible for the attack on a Palestinian taxi near Bat Ayin on August 16 and the brutal attack on a Arab youth in Jerusalem’s Zion Square in the early hours of August 18 have been arrested. Abbas’s allegations are baseless, he said, but they are dangerous when coming from the Palestinian leadership.