PLO Erekat Condemns Netanyahu’s Assigning Blame to Abbas For Settlers Run-Over Incident in Jerusalem

RAMALLAH, October 25, 2014 (WAFA) – PLO Executive Committee Member Saeb Erekat  strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s assigning blame to Abbas and his government for the Israeli settlers’ run over incident by a Palestinian in Occupied East Jerusalem, while laying all blame for current political tension in East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories on Netanyahu.

Netanyahu declared that President Abbas’ “partners in government” were behind the incident and that the President himself “only a few days ago incited towards a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.”

“We strongly reject and condemn Netanyahu’s unfounded and inflammatory statement regarding yesterday’s incident in Occupied East Jerusalem,” stressed Erekat in a statement issued by Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department.

He said that Netanyahu has no credibility left to lose, adding that “Netanyahu’s statements represent a dangerous new low.”

“We declare that Israel, the occupying power, and particularly Netanyahu are responsible for the current situation in Occupied East Jerusalem and throughout the Occupied State of Palestine.”

On Wednesday, a Palestinian ran over nine Israelis while they were standing by a train station in Jerusalem, killing an infant and injuring the rest; Israeli police opened fire at the Palestinian driver, causing him fatal injuries, resulting in his death minutes later.

Erekat said that Netanyahu’s ‘reckless claims’ that Abbas is inciting terrorism indicate that he has turned his back on peace.

“Netanyahu called the situation in East Jerusalem “intolerable” without mentioning his government’s recent provocations that have inflamed the political situation,’ stressed Erekat.

He said that Netanyahu did not mention that over the past three weeks, extremist Israeli settlers funded by state-supported settler groups and escorted by Israeli police have seized 35 homes in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, nor did he mention his government’s approval of nearly 3,000 settlement units in and around East Jerusalem.

He further added that Netanyahu did not mention how Israel used the recent Jewish holidays as a pretense for tightening its grip on the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

“Israeli forces are denying ever greater numbers of Palestinians of their right to access and worship at al-Aqsa, forcing them to pray in the street, just as they have denied Palestinian Christians of their right of worship during Easter.”

“Netanyahu did not mention the surge in attacks by Jewish extremists on Palestinians in the Old City nor the attacks of these police-backed extremists, against Christian and Muslim Holy Sites,” he added.

“He did not mention the killing of 15-year old Muhammad Sinokrot, who was shot in the head by Israeli police while going to pray. And of course, he did not mention the kidnapping and brutal murder of 16-year old Muhammad Abu Khdeir by three Jewish extremists, responding to a campaign of hatred and incitement by Israeli politicians and public figures during Israel’s massacre in Gaza.”

Netanyahu and his extremist government coalition continue to refuse the minimum requirements for peace, including acceptance of the two-state solution, said Erekat.

“Instead of pursuing peace, his government systematically violates international law in order to consolidate its Apartheid regime in Palestine.”

He said that, “Netanyahu’s stated plans to turn Jerusalem into an exclusive Jewish city violate several UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 476 and 478, which declare the illegal Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem null and void.”

Erekat called upon the international community to respond to ‘our call’ for international protection and uphold its commitments and obligations to save the prospects for peace based on the two-state solution.

“The international community must hold the Israeli government accountable for its violations of international law,” he stressed.

“We regret all loss of life. At the same time we reiterate that the Israeli occupation of Palestine remains the main source of violence and instability in the region. Palestinian citizens continue to be oppressed, imprisoned, injured and killed by the occupation forces, with impunity and the full backing of the Israeli government,” Erekat concluded.