Seven days after a roadside bomb nearly killed the Palestinian prime minister as he traveled to the Gaza Strip, Abbas stopped blaming Israel, pointing his finger instead at the Hamas terrorist group.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas spoke out at a meeting Monday of the Palestinian leadership in Judea and Samaria, pointing definitively at Hamas as the perpetrators of an attempted assassination last week of PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
“We are fully aware that Hamas is the one who stands behind that incident and carried it out,” Abbas said.
Last Tuesday, Hamdallah entered the northeastern Gaza Strip in a convoy of cars to inaugurate a wastewater treatment plant. A roadside bomb was detonated almost immediately, damaging the last three cars in the explosion and injuring several of their passengers. Hamdallah was not hurt in the incident.
The initial reaction from PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ office was that Hamas “bears full responsibility for this treasonous aggression,” a logical step considering that the terrorist organization holds the Strip in an iron grip. Later that day, however, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh talked to Hamdallah and according to Ha’aretz, they agreed that “Israel and its collaborators” were responsible for the attempt on the prime minister’s life.
Officials in both rival camps put forward the theory that since Hamas and the PA are ostensibly trying to revive their reconciliation efforts, Israel would benefit from such an attack as it has an interest in sowing suspicion between the two groups and torpedoing their unity talks. Jerusalem, for its part, had no comment on the attack.
Hamas went on to condemn what it called a “criminal act,” quickly announced an investigation, and soon afterwards said that several suspects had been arrested.
According to the Jerusalem Post however, in his speech Abbas dismissed these moves, stating, “We don’t want anything from them,” and slammed “Hamas and its illegitimate authorities” for rejecting the Ramallah-based government’s attempts at unity.
In the same speech, the report said, Abbas called US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman a “son of a dog” for saying that Israelis “are building in their [own] land.”