The two bombing attacks in Jerusalem are not related to the results of the Israeli elections, but came in response to the ongoing Israeli security crackdown in the West Bank and visits by Jews to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount), Palestinian sources said on Wednesday.
The sources predicted that the latest wave of terrorism would increase, if and when the new right-wing government in Israel chooses to escalate its security measures or attempts to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.
According to the sources, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have taken a decision to step up their terror attacks not only to inflict pain on Israel, but also to undermine the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
Several Palestinian radical groups have welcomed the twin bombings in Jerusalem in which an Israeli teenager was killed and 19 injured.
The groups said the attacks came in response to visits by Jews to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the killing and injury of a number of Palestinians by the Israeli security forces.
Hamas said the Palestinians have the right to “resist the occupation, which bears full responsibility for the repercussions of the crimes of its army and the terror of its settlers against the Palestinian people, their land and their sanctities.”
The PA did not comment on the Jerusalem attacks. However, a statement issued hours before the attacks by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Israel for the “heinous extra-judicial killing” of Ahmad Shehadeh, 16, in Nablus.
The ministry held Israel fully responsible for the recent deterioration of the security situation.
Palestinians said Shehadeh was shot dead during clashes with IDF troops accompanying Jewish worshipers who entered Nablus to pray at Joseph’s Tomb.
Hamas welcomes terrorist attacks
Hamas spokesman Abed al-Latif al-Qanou said the attacks in Jerusalem were “part of the continuous response to the storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque, its Judaization and attempts to divide it [in time and space].”
Hamas and other Palestinians often portray the visits to the Temple Mount as violent incursions by Jewish extremists.
“The Jerusalem operation is the result of the crimes of the occupation and settlers against our people and the al-Aqsa Mosque,” Qanou said. “It reaffirms, with conclusive evidence, that Zionist terrorism will only be met with more heroic operations with a variety of means.”
“The Jerusalem operation is the result of the crimes of the occupation and settlers against our people and the al-Aqsa Mosque. It reaffirms, with conclusive evidence, that Zionist terrorism will only be met with more heroic operations with a variety of means.”Hamas spokesman Abed al-Latif al-Qanou
The Hamas official said Israel was “paying the price of its crimes and aggression against our people and the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Another Hamas official, Tareq Eziddin, also welcomed the bombing attacks and vowed that the “resistance” against Israel will continue.
He said that Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and the West Bank will not go unpunished.
Palestinian terror groups praise bombings
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, the second largest terror group in the Gaza Strip after Hamas, said the bombings in Jerusalem were “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation.”
The Palestinians will continue to rise up in defense of their rights, Islamic Jihad senior official Khader Habib said.
Islamic Jihad has a strong military and political presence in the northern West Bank, especially in Nablus and Jenin.
Habib said the “resistance” against Israel “until the occupation leaves the entire Palestinian territory.”
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) praised the bombings, also saying they came in the context of an ongoing response “to the crimes of the occupation and its terrorist settlers against our people.”
The PFLP warned that Israeli measures and policies will lead to more tensions and clashes.
“The willingness of the resistance groups to respond to the enemy’s terrorism has grown stronger,” the PFLP added.
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) also lauded the terrorist attacks, saying they came “as a response to the crimes of the occupation and its continuous organized terror against our people.”
The DFLP warned that Israeli “aggressive measures and policies” will lead to an expansion of the violence.
The Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of various terror groups in the Gaza Strip, said the bombings in Jerusalem dealt “a new blow to the Israeli security and military system.”