PMW Bulletins
Abbas defends PA search for teens;
PA daily writes Israel may be behind kidnapping
Share |
 Conflicting PA responses to kidnapping:
Abbas defends PA search for kidnapped teens;
blames kidnappers for damaging PA;
criticizes Israel for "havoc and destruction"

Mahmoud Abbas:
"They are, first and foremost, human beings,
and we want to protect human lives"

"Whoever committed this act wants to destroy us"

Netanyahu "has found a suitable opportunity to use violence against us, to destroy everything and wreak havoc and destruction"

PA Security Forces on Facebook:
"May Allah curse the corrupt people [Jews],
the enemies of Islam"

Official PA daily:
Perhaps "Israel itself is behind the 'kidnapping'"
  

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  

 

In a speech in Saudi Arabia, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas defended the PA's cooperation with Israel in the search for the three kidnapped Israeli youths who have been missing since last Thursday. Abbas said:

"We are [working] in coordination with them in order to find these boys, because they are, first and foremost, human beings, and we want to protect human lives...for us he is a human being and we must look for this human being and return him to his family." 

 

   

[Official PA TV, June 18, 2014]

 

However, Abbas also accused Israel of "causing a sharp escalation" and exploiting the kidnapping to damage the Palestinian infrastructure:

"Prime Minister [Netanyahu] has found a suitable opportunity to use violence against us, to destroy everything and wreak havoc and destruction throughout the land."

 

Abbas also complained that "the act" was harmful to the PA:

"The truth is that whoever committed this act (the kidnapping) wants to destroy us... Because we cannot endure such actions; we cannot confront the State of Israel - neither militarily nor in any other way."

 

The official PA daily even suggested that Israel is behind the kidnapping:

"International, regional and local forces do not rule out the scenario that Israel itself is behind the 'kidnapping,'..." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 17, 2014]

 

"Is the disappearance of the settlers in Hebron merely an Israeli political trap, meant to justify its punitive measures against the citizens?" the paper asked. It further speculated that the kidnapping might be "a deliberate act on the part of Israel meant to achieve the goal" of weakening the PA.

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 18, 2014]  

 

Abbas' PA Security Forces posted a cartoon on Facebook with the same message - that Israel is "wreaking havoc on the land" 

[Facebook page of the Palestinian National Security Forces, June 16, 2014]

 

 

Numerous Antisemitic comments were added to the cartoon, which the administrator reinforced:

 

Comment: "Allah's curse upon you, Israel. God, you are great, very great. Punish these dogs, God."

Page administrator's response: "If the Jews have a wind surely the [Palestinian] revolution is a storm. Allah willing, respected sister, the day will come when the truth will be revealed and the oppressed will defeat the oppressor."

Comment: "Allah's curse upon the Jews."
Page administrator's response: "May Allah curse the corrupt people, the enemies of Islam. Allah willing, a day will come when they will retreat and victory will be ours, Allah willing, for this is God's promise to us."

Comment: "May Allah burn them and give you victory, dear Palestinian people."

Page administrator's response: "Amen, God. We thank you for contacting us, dear brothers."

 

Abbas' Fatah movement posted yet another cartoon mocking Israel for not finding the three missing boys. The cartoon showed Netanyahu in a hospital bed, “bothered by” “the residents of Hebron” – a tribute to Palestinian Hebron residents, as the kidnapping occurred near this town.

Text on cartoon: "Netanyahu's condition after the capture of the Zionist soldiers in Hebron."

Doctor: "What's bothering you?"

Netanyahu: "The residents of Hebron."

 

Facebook page administrator's text with two smileys: "Open to your interpretation :) :)"

 [Facebook, “Fatah - The Main Page”, June 18, 2014]


Fatah is claiming here that the three kidnapped Israelis are soldiers, but in fact two, aged 16, are in high school, and the one aged 19 is also a student.

Note: The Facebook page where this item was posted, called "Fatah - The Main Page," is an official Fatah Facebook page. The page defines itself as belonging to the Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission, and the commission's official website links to this Facebook page.
  


Palestinian Media Watch
has documented other mocking reactions to the kidnapping from the PA and Fatah.

 

The following is a longer excerpt of Abbas' speech to the conference of the foreign ministers of the Islamic countries:

 

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "As for the Israeli government, it is causing a sharp escalation, and this is a new problem we are facing. The reason is the kidnapping of three boys near one of the settlements. Naturally, despite their [Israel's] presence in Area C, which is not under our security control, and despite the fact that they did not report the incident when it occurred, but over 12 hours later, we are [working] in coordination with them in order to find these boys, because they are, first and foremost, human beings, and we want to protect human lives. Even the Americans have told us that one of them is an American, and we answered that, whether American or Israeli, for us he is a human being and we must look for this human being and return him to his family. But the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] has found a suitable opportunity to use violence against us, to destroy everything and wreak havoc and destruction throughout the land, especially in the Hebron area...  The truth is that whoever committed this act (the kidnapping) wants to destroy us; therefore, we will talk to them differently and hold a different position, whoever it was that committed this action. Because we cannot endure such actions; we cannot confront the State of Israel - neither militarily nor in any other way."

 [Official PA TV, June 18, 2014]

 

The following are more examples of comments and responses from the Facebook page administrator of the Palestinian National Security Forces to the caricature of Israeli soldiers searching for the kidnapped boys:

 

"Daily cartoon: 'The Israeli occupiers wreak havoc in the land'"

Comment: "Allah's curse upon you, Israel. God, you are great, very great. Punish these dogs, God."

Page administrator's response: "If the Jews have a wind surely the [Palestinian] revolution is a storm. Allah willing, respected sister, the day will come when the truth will be revealed and the oppressed will defeat the oppressor."

 

Comment: "May Allah give you victory and raise you above our enemies."

Page administrator's response: "When the revolution thunders and the nation calls for the eternal Jerusalem, the midgets of the world must remain in their dens. We are very grateful to you and honor you for your wonderful comment, respected sister."

 

Comment: "Allah's curse upon the Jews."

Page administrator's response: "May Allah curse the corrupt people, the enemies of Islam. Allah willing, a day will come when they will retreat and victory will be ours, Allah willing, for this is God's promise to us."

 

Comment: "May Allah burn them and give you victory, dear Palestinian people."

Page administrator's response: "Amen, God. We thank you for contacting us, dear brothers."

[Facebook page of the Palestinian National Security Forces, June 16, 2014]

 

Excerpts from the official PA daily accusing Israel of orchestrating or exploiting the kidnapping for self-interest:

 

"This [the Israeli reaction to the Fatah-Hams reconciliation and to the kidnapping] raises the question: Is the disappearance of the settlers in Hebron merely an Israeli political trap meant to justify its punitive measures against the citizens? In addition to the fact that this allows Israel to avoid the international pressure following the [hunger] strike of the administrative detainees."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 18, 2014]

 

Headline: "Stop Israel's terrorism!"

Op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

"The Israeli state's organized terrorism against the Palestinian Arab people has not ceased since the period preceding its establishment, [when it was carried out] by the Zionist terror organizations. The Zionist leaders maintained this policy after the establishment of Israel, in the wake of the Nakba (i.e., 'the catastrophe,' Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) of the Palestinian Arab people in May 1948, and they are still maintaining it [today].

Yet, from time to time, the Israeli terrorism throws off its reins and exploits a spurious pretext or some event to use violence against the Palestinian people, as is happening today; Israel's military and security establishments have carried out an extensive wave of arrests of PA Parliament (Legislative Council) members, former ministers and other citizens; they have raided and besieged the Palestinian public... under the pretext of searching for their three settlers (i.e., the three kidnapped boys are students aged 16, 16, and 19), who have been missing since Thursday.

The policy of collective punishment Israel implements against defenseless citizens contradicts international law and the four Geneva Conventions. In addition, it adds fuel to the flames of the rage of the Palestinian public, systematically pushing the situation towards an abyss, in order to:

 

1.    shuffle the cards in the Palestinian-Israeli path (i.e., relationship);

2.    lay the blame for the chain of events and developments on the Palestinian leadership;

3.    extinguish any glimmer of hope for a political settlement;

4.    attempt to break out of their international isolation, which is expanding;

5.    discredit the Palestinian national reconciliation and lay the responsibility for the fate of its [Israel's] three settlers on the international bodies that support it [the national Fatah-Hamas reconciliation].

 

Nonetheless, the international, regional and local forces do not rule out the scenario that Israel itself is behind the 'kidnapping,' for the purpose of achieving the above-mentioned goals. "

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 17, 2014]

 

By Muwaffaq Matar, regular columnist for the official PA daily

"This action (i.e., the kidnapping) is - if not a deliberate act on the part of Israel meant to achieve the goal described above (i.e., to weaken the PA) - a free gift to Israel from some group or regional power that shares a common goal with Israel: To convince large countries, and friends of the Palestinian people to retract their recognition of the abilities of the Palestinian Security Forces, and to weaken these countries' faith in the possibility of the success of the two-state solution... Everyone knows that the Netanyahu government has used the disappearance of the three settlers [as an excuse] to conduct security operations the likes of which have not been seen in the Palestinian West Bank since the end of Operation Defensive Shield, which culminated in the siege of the Muqata'a (the PA Presidential Headquarters in Ramallah) and the poisoning of the leader President Yasser Arafat by the leadership of the occupation state."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 18, 2014]
 
Operation Defensive Shield - a large Israeli military operation in April 2002 in response to the many suicide bombings during PA terror campaign (the second Intifada). Israel put Arafat under siege and invaded six of the largest West Bank cities in an attempt to destroy the terror infrastructure.