Abbas: Settlers are sitting on lands that are not theirs

Palestinian Authority President sends message prior to deadly Kiryat Arba Hamas attack.

Mahmoud Abbas what 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Mahmoud Abbas what 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Shortly before the deadly attack near Kiryat Arba on Tuesday night, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was on his way to Washington, sent a message to the settlers to the effect that they should leave.
Speaking to the editor of the Bethlehem-based Maan news agency aboard his plane, Abbas said in his message: “You are living on land that doesn’t belong to you and this is impossible.”
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Abbas made the statement before the attack.His remarks were published as the main news item of the news agency and other Palestinian media outlets.The editor asked Abbas what message he had for the settlers on the eve of the direct talks with Israel.
Abbas replied: “The settlers are sitting on lands that are not theirs. I tell them that this is not your land and you know that. You can’t impose facts on the ground, because the settlements are illegal and will be removed.”
Meanwhile, PA security sources said that the attack may have been carried out by a cell belonging to either Hamas or Islamic Jihad. A Hamas spokesman told AP on Tuesday night that it had carried out the attack.
The sources said that the attack was clearly designed to foil the US-sponsored direct talks between Israel and the PA and embarrass Abbas.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum defended the attack as a “natural response to Zionist crimes” but stopped short of endorsing it.
Islamic Jihad welcomed the attack, saying it was intended to send a warning to the Palestinian negotiators in Washington.