Netanyahu: Abbas Must Condemn Har Adar Terror Attack, Not Justify It

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Abir Sultan, Pool via AP

TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn Tuesday’s terror attack in Har Adar that saw two security guards and one border police officer murdered.

Netanyahu said that the attack was the result of “systematic incitement by the Palestinian Authority and other elements,” and added that Abbas must not find any reason to justify it.

“The security forces will continue to take action against incitement and terrorism as they have been doing night and day and we, of course, will finish the investigation of the incident and will discuss together the next steps,” Netanyahu said ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting.

Early Tuesday morning 37-year-old Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal drew a gun from his shirt and shot at a group of security guards who were opening the back gates of the Har Adar settlement to allow Palestinian laborers to enter. The three victims included border policeman Solomon Gavriyah, 20, and civilian security guards Youssef Ottman, 25, from Abu Ghosh and Or Arish, 25, a resident of Har Adar.

The head security officer of Har Adar was seriously wounded in the attack  and underwent surgery at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem after sustaining two bullet wounds.

The home of the terrorist in Beit Surik is set to be demolished by the IDF, Netanyahu said. The IDF has imposed a closure around the village, allowing residents to enter but not to leave unless it is for humanitarian purposes. All work permits for members of Jamal’s extended family will be revoked.

President Reuven Rivlin slammed the attack and sent his commiseration to the victims’ families.

“Such a brutal terror attack once again shows the daily frontline on which our security forces stand, charged today with the most important mission – the safeguarding and defense of the citizens of Israel,” Rivlin said. “We will continue to confront terror, and will reach all its perpetrators and supporters.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) pledged to “chase down the terrorists, those that send them and those that incite them.” He added that there is no difference between Palestinian terror and Islamist terror in Europe and that before there could even be talk of a renewed peace process, the world must demand the Palestinian Authority end its incitement to terror.

Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz (Likud) echoed Liberman’s words but added that the attack should send a clear message to President Donald Trump’s Middle East negotiator Jason Envoy who is arriving in the country today to continue his mission to resume the moribund negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Mahmoud Abbas incites against Israel in the United Nations and a Palestinian terrorist kills three Israelis and wounds one,” Katz, who is a member of the security cabinet, said. “The fact that the terrorist exploited the entry of Palestinian workers into Israel in order to carry out an attack will have serious implications for the ability to employ Palestinians and ease their conditions of passage. The attack is also a message to special U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt, who is visiting Israel today: Israel’s security was and yet remains the supreme consideration in the government’s policy, and is above any other consideration of improving and easing the lives of the Palestinians.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) also referred to the U.S. envoy, describing the attack as “the Palestinians’ welcome greeting to American envoy Jason Greenblatt.” She added that the U.S. must seek to end the “murderous Palestinian terror efforts” and that any negotiations are worthless as long as the Palestinians continue to incite to terror.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said blame for the attack lands squarely on the shoulders of the Palestinian Authority, which continues with its “pay-for-slay” policy of paying salaries to terrorists and their families.

Likud MK Nava Boker took the most hardline condemnation of the terrorist, calling him “Satan” whose body should be thrown into the sea.

Zionist Union Chairman Avi Gabbay said the attack had shattered the harmony between Jews and Arabs in that particular settlement.

“Har Adar is a community that for years exemplified coexistence between Jews and Arabs. This attack is a severe blow to the relations between the two communities,” said Gabbay.

Joint List MK Yousef Jabarin said the policies of the Israeli government were to blame for the attack.

“The far-right Israeli government is responsible for the bloody circle of violence and the conflict’s enshrinement,” he said. “There is no such thing as an enlightened occupation. There is no occupation without resistance.”

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