Jordan’s Pilot Murder Triggers Official, Popular Outrage

RAMALLAH, February 4, 2015 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian government and state officials harshly condemned on Tuesday the killing of Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasassbeh by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group, ISIS in short.

Abbas said, “Indeed no one can bear up with [being burned alive]. This crime unmasked the evil nature and inhumane practices of the terrorists.”

He rejected any association between Islam and ISIS saying, “This has nothing to do with Islam, the religion of tolerance.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian government and the Foreign Ministry issued statements denouncing the “heinous manner” in which Kasasbeh was killed. The government voiced its support on behalf of the Palestinian people to the people of Jordan against ISIS’s practices, which it said all had nothing to do with any religion.

In the meantime, hundreds of sympathizing Palestinians assembled in front of the house of Jordan’s ambassador to Palestine in Ramallah, declaring solidarity with Jordan and denouncing the terrorizing acts of ISIS group.

Earlier Tuesday, ISIS published a video online purportedly showing al-Kasasbeh captured in a cage and dressed in an orange jumpsuit, being burned alive.

The Jordan state TV said it believes al-Kasasbeh was executed as far back as January 3, exactly one month ago, although the government has declined to directly confirm the news to the public.

Jordan’s Monarch, King Abdullah II, described al-Kasasbeh as a hero, saying Jordan must “stand united” in the face of hardship, vowing a tougher grip on terrorism.

Hours after the video was released, Jordan declared it executed two al-Qaeda prisoners who had been convicted of participating in bomb attacks in Amman in 2005.

During the past few weeks, al-Kasasbeh and two Japanese reporters who had been taken hostage by ISIS were part of failed negotiations on a potential prisoner exchange deal between ISIS and the governments of Japan and Jordan. The two reporters were nevertheless declared beheaded by ISIS.

Kasasbeh was captured when his plane was downed by ISIS near the Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital, during a mission against the group on December 24.

Jordan is part of a US-led military alliance that has carried out airstrikes against ISIS targets in recent months.