TEL AVIV – President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday slammed Arab-Israeli leaders for not condemning Friday’s terror attack on the Temple Mount, saying their silence was tantamount to endorsing the shooting.
“The silence and the feeble responses from some Arab political leaders are outrageous,” the president said during a ceremony at the National Security College.
“Terrorism must be denounced unconditionally,” he added. “Anyone who doesn’t denounce terrorism is collaborating with it.”
Most of the Arab and Muslim condemnation surrounding the attack focused on Israel’s subsequent decision to close the Temple Mount compound with no censure directed at the terrorists themselves.
Ayman Odeh, the leader of Israel’s largest Arab party the Joint List – which failed to release a statement unequivocally condemning the attack – warned that the Temple Mount closure could trigger a third intifada.
Rivlin praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah for being “responsible” enough to condemn the attack in phone calls with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“[They] fully understood the danger and worked together with us to calm tensions,” he said.
However, shortly after condemning the attack, Abbas came out against the Temple Mount closure, warning of violent ramifications if it continued. His ruling Fatah faction called the site’s closure “deplorable” and urged Muslims to go to the Mount.
The day after King Abdullah blasted Friday’s attackers for “undermining security and stability,” the Jordanian parliament stood in their honor and praised them as martyrs. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Atef Tarawneh, blessed the families of the terrorists, saying they deserved “glory and honor” for their loved ones’ supposed act of self-sacrifice “fighting in the name of the [Palestinian] nation.”
The president also said the attack “crossed a red line” and was meant to “drag the whole region into a bloody war.”