The Palestinian Authority on Thursday condemned Israel for launching a military operation in Nablus and killing three Hamas terrorists who were behind the Dee family murders.
The PA called on the US administration to intervene to stop the Israeli “aggression.”
The PA was responding to the Israeli security operation on Thursday morning during which the terrorists – Muath Masri, 35, Hassan Qatanani, 35, and Ibrahim Jaber, 45 – were killed.
Three Dee family members, Lucy (Leah) Dee, and her two daughters, Maia and Rina, were killed in a shooting attack carried out by the terrorists in the Jordan Valley in early April.
Hamas announced that the three slain men were members of its armed wing, Izzaddin al-Qassam. A statement issued by the group in the Gaza Strip confirmed that the terrorists, whom it described as “heroes,” were behind the attack against the two Dee sisters and their mother.
According to Hamas, the shooting attack came in response to an “assault” by Israeli police officers against Muslim worshippers who had barricaded themselves inside the al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.
The alleged “assault” took place when the officers moved to evacuate dozens of young Muslim men who reportedly brought rocks and fireworks into the mosque.
Although the terrorists killed in Thursday’s raid belonged to Hamas, many supporters of the ruling Fatah faction headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas attended their funeral, carrying the yellow flags of their faction.
PA denounced Israel for its "daily crimes"
In a first response to the Nablus raid, the PA denounced Israel for its “daily crimes” against the Palestinians.
The PA and Hamas have been at loggerheads since 2007, when the Iranian-backed Islamist group launched a violent coup and seized control of the Gaza Strip.
In a statement, PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaine condemned Israel for “storming” Palestinian cities and carrying out “daily crimes of killings” against the Palestinian people.
Abu Rudaineh warned that the “continuation of the Israeli escalation against the Palestinians, their land their holy sites would lead to an explosion in the region.”
He did not mention the terrorists’ involvement in the attack in which the Dee sisters and their mother were killed. However, Abu Rudaineh said that the PA “holds the Israeli occupation government fully responsible for this policy of escalation that is pushing the region towards violence and tension.”
Additionally, the PA official called on the US administration to immediately intervene and pressure Israel to halt its “aggression” against the Palestinians.
Mahmoud al-Habbash, religious affairs advisor to the PA president, also condemned Israel for killing the three “martyrs.”
“We are facing a terrorist criminal gang that calls itself a state,” al-Habbash said in response to the Israeli operation in Nablus. “It makes no sense to talk about peace, stability, or security while it exists.”
Rawhi Fattouh, Speaker of the Palestinian National Council, the PLO’s legislative body, also accused Israel of “terrorism” after the killing of the Hamas terrorists.
“The gangs of the Israeli army are storming Palestinian homes and cities to carry out assassinations and arrests,” Fattouh said. “The government of the settler gangs is continuing the escalation with more killings and crimes.” He urged the international community to take a “more serious stance to stop the Israeli crimes and violations.”
In the Gaza Strip, a number of Palestinian groups said the elimination of the three “heroes” won’t stop the fight against Israel.
Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Qanou described the three as “true symbols of the Palestinian people who carried out a heroic operation.”
He said that the killing of the three men won’t stop the “heroes of the resistance” from continuing their attacks. He urged Palestinians in the West Bank to “avenge the blood of the martyrs.”
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization also said that the killing of the three Hamas terrorists won’t stop the attacks against Israel. Tareq Silmi, a spokesperson for the organization, said he was confident that the Palestinians would retaliate for the killing in Nablus. “Behind every martyr there are 1,000 young men ready for the confrontation [with Israel],” Silmi stated. “The battle won’t stop until the end of Israel.”