Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni / Flash 90
Ra'am party leader Mansour Abbas, June 2, 2021

The Islamist Ra’am party, a member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition, issued a statement following the terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City, appearing to condemn the incident. However, Ra’am did not publish the statement in Arabic, as it usually does with its statements.

On Sunday, Hamas terrorist Fadi Abu-Shkadem fired at Israelis on their way to the Kotel, killing Eli Kay and wounding four others.

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After being challenged on the issue by the Likud party, Ra’am appeared to issue a condemnation of the attack when it stated that “for decades,” it has “opposed and condemned and acted to prevent harm to innocent people on both sides, and will continue to do so, especially when it comes to innocent civilians.”

Ra’am “has always called for the sanctity of life, to avoid any form of violence, and to strive to live together in peace, security, partnership and tolerance, as set out in Ra’am vision,” the party stated.

After the ambiguous statement on the fatal attack, Ra’am attacked the Likud and said it “cannot preach morality to Ra’am and [its party head] MK Mansour Abbas, period.”

“The Likud led the government for many years, and failed to achieve peace and security and internal stability, so its time was up and replaced. The Likud must come to terms with the fact that there is another government today, and in order to change a functioning government,” is stated, apparently utilizing the tragic attacks for political gains.

Ra’am did not publish the statement in Arabic, apparently for fear of a backlash from its supporters and constituents in Israel.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.