Abbas accuses Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’ against Palestinians

Responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remark that the Palestinians want a future state ethnically cleansed of Jews, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinians.

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinians and premeditated murder, responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks in a Friday clip in which he charged that the Palestinians were seeking a state free of Jews.

In a missive sent to Palestinians to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha on Sunday, Abbas wrote that “the Israeli government is conducting ethnic cleansing and is killing us with full intent – things that have exposed it to international criticism around the world.”

“We are not isolated like the Israeli government tries to depict us,” he wrote. “The Israeli government is the one isolated in the international arena because it does not want to progress on the path of peace, and continues the settlement enterprise and violates the holy places.”

Abbas has made the claim against Israel in the past, and similar remarks on Israel “violating” the Muslim holy sites he made over the past year have set off a round of violence which has lasted since, claiming the lives of 39 victims and wounding some 550.

On Friday, Netanyahu slammed the Palestinians and the international community for insisting on a Palestinian state that would be ethnically cleansed of Jews. He rejected international criticism of Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, equating it to “ethnic cleansing” of Jews and insisting the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not an obstacle to peace.

US officials responded by saying his remarks were “inappropriate and unhelpful.”

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News