TEL AVIV – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised a Jordanian terrorist who attempted to stab Israeli Border Police officers in Jerusalem on Friday as “a martyr who watered the pure earth of Palestine with his blood.”
Abbas made his remarks in a condolence letter sent to the family of Saeed Amro this week, adding his hope that “God would wrap the martyr in his mercy, and that he will dwell in paradise.”
Amro, 28, was shot and killed Friday when he attacked a group of policemen with knives in each hand at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City, Israeli security sources said. Police found more knives on Amro after he was shot.
Jordan slammed the killing of Amro as “barbaric,” and officials said they were in doubt as to whether the terrorist committed the attack at all seeing as he was a tourist in the country. On Monday, Jordan demanded a full inquiry into the events surrounding Amro’s death from Israel’s embassy in Amman.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry sent footage to Amman showing Amro wielding the knives and threatening passerby as he heads toward the policemen.
Amro shouted “Allahu akbar” as he approached the officers, police said.
The Jordanian national arrived in Israel the day before and stayed at a hostel in the Old City. On Friday morning, he attended prayer services at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount before purchasing the knives at a shop in the Muslim Quarter, police said.
The Friday incident was one of nine terrorist attacks over the past five days.
Without addressing the attacks themselves, senior Palestinian officials have lambasted the killing of Palestinian assailants over the last week as “executions.”