Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been dead silent on the Arab terrorist’s murder of soldier-hiker Daniel Gonen and the wounding of his friend Friday afternoon.
The United States express its condolences, while the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov simply condemned the murder and stated:
On this second day of Ramadan and at the start of the Shabbat, I call on all sides to exercise the utmost restraint, to maintain calm and promptly bring the perpetrators to justice.
When State Dept. spokesman John Kirby was asked about the murder at the daily press briefing on Friday, he answered:
We have scant information. First of all, our condolences go out to the family of what we understand to be at least one of those individuals who was killed in this deadly shooting. Certainly, our thoughts and prayers go out to them. And the second thing I’d say is, as always, we condemn any violence against civilians there, completely unacceptable.
And on the Palestinian Authority side?
No regrets. No condolences. No renouncement of terror.
Mahmoud Abbas did not condemn the murder nor did he comment on it, and the Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA website referred to it only in a posting under the headline:
Newspaper Review: Fatal Shooting of Israeli near West Bank Settlement, Quarter Million Worshippers Praying in Al-Aqsa Mosque as Focus of Dailies
Abbas has a handy excuse. He can always say. “They did it.”
Who is ‘they?” Hamas, of course.
The terrorist organization took responsibility for the attack, as WAFA noted. Hamas stated: “One of the fighters ambushed a settler vehicle and shot at them from point-blank range after having observed the area continuously.”
Hamas then explained that the attack was a continuation of “a series of operations…in retaliation to occupation crimes” against “Palestinian martyrs who have recently been killed by Israeli forces including Izz Addin Abu Gharra from Jenin and Abdullah Ghanayim Gneimat from Kafr Malik near Ramallah.”
The statement identified the “Marwan Qawasmeh and Amir Abu Eisha Brigade” as the affiliated group directly behind Friday’s shooting, adding that “the operation was carried out days before the first anniversary of the martyrs Marwan Qawasmeh and Amir Abu Eisha,” who kidnapped and murdered three Israeli yeshiva students last June and were killed in a shoot-out with the IDF.
WAFA, Abbas’ official mouthpiece, whitewashed the terrorist attack and stated:
Palestinian factions and groups released statements following Friday’s attack deeming the incident as a natural response to ongoing Israeli occupation.