JERUSALEM – Israel is plotting to assassinate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just as it supposedly murdered PLO chief Yasser Arafat, members of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have baselessly claimed.
Ahead of the 12th anniversary of Arafat’s death, independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an quoted Fatah Movement Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi as saying:
“The Israeli statements regarding President Abbas are most dangerous and testify to an Israeli plot in the region and exploitation of the situation in order to eliminate Abbas politically and physically.”
The article, titled “Will Israel repeat the scenario of the assassination of Arafat with PA President Mahmoud Abbas?” was translated by Israeli monitoring group, Palestinian Media Watch, which accused the PA of disseminating bogus conspiracy theories that Israel had a hand in Arafat’s death, a libel long since disproved by several independent medical experts.
Al-Qawasmi went on to say, “Fatah views with full severity the attempts to repeat what happened with the late Yasser Arafat and the use of the same means in the elimination attempts.”
Ahmed Majdalani, PLO Executive Committee member and Secretary-General of the PFLP – classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and EU – reinforced the lies, accusing Israel of another assassination plot.
“Israel is striving to repeat the scenario of the assassination of the late Yasser Arafat with President Mahmoud Abbas,” Majdalani said. “The occupation government is striving to politically assassinate Abbas and to blacken his good name in preparation for his physical elimination.”
Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published an editorial last week directly linking recent remarks made by Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman – to whom the article refers to as the “Israeli Minister of Death” – and the impending murder.
“Israeli Minister of Death (sic., Minister of Defense) Avigdor Liberman gave an extensive political interview to the Al-Quds newspaper… in which he attacked [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and called to ‘replace him’ with a new leadership,” the editorial read.
“Anyone who will go back and review what happened to the late president, the symbol Yasser Arafat… can understand the Israeli method of dealing with the Palestinian leaders in general and with the decision makers in particular. There is no need to remind the Palestinians and the Israelis of the cruel campaign against the symbol Yasser Arafat, until he was brought for burial after being poisoned by the Israeli intelligence and the mercenary henchmen,” it concluded.
In the same paper, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and Director-General of the PA Commission for Information and Culture Muwaffaq Matar described the alleged assassination attempt in greater detail, warning against “the political assassination operation, after which will come the physical assassination of [PA] President and Commander-in-Chief Mahmoud Abbas as part of the preparation for the assassination of the spirit of the national project.”