As we have reported on this blog in the past, large elements of the Palestinian leadership and much of the Palestinian public routinely celebrate terror attacks. The June 8 shooting in Tel Aviv that killed four is no different. Similar to responses after the Jerusalem bus bombing this past April, many parts of Palestinian society welcomed this most recent attack.
Hamas hailed the two gunmen as “heroes” on Twitter and on June 9 it confirmed that both attackers were members.
Hamas spokesman Hussam Badran called the attacks “the first prophecy of Ramadan,” “a good omen,” and just the beginning of the “surprises” during Ramadan. The terrorist organisation called the attack a message to the “leaders of the occupation” and to new Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who took office last week.
Hamas cited the “desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and crimes against the Palestinian people” as supposed justification for the attack, but did not name any specific incidents. It further called Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, “a month of Jihad, fortification, and victory over the enemy,” intimating attacks will continue.
Hamas also released a video mocking the attack, showing an Arab man dressing up in religious Jewish clothing and loading a gun, ending the video with “[the gunman] covered in blood with the quote ‘reward is certain, if Allah wills it,’ a Muslim blessing upon the breaking of the fast,” according to The Jerusalem Post. To watch the whole video, CLICK HERE.
Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, offered a general statement expressing “opposition to any operation that harms civilians by anybody, regardless of the justifications.” However, he did not explicitly condemn this attack. This statement continues Abbas’ practice of not directly encouraging attacks, but also not directly condemning them, which he has followed since the beginning of the current round of terrorist violence that began last October. Palestinian Media Watch has an insightful side-by-side comparison noting the difference in tone when Abbas condemned a terror attacks on Jordanians as compared to his comments on Israelis.
Abbas’ Fatah party justified the attack on its official Facebook page as a “natural response” to Israeli policy, saying that, “Israel must realize the consequences of its persistence to push violence.” This continues Fatah’s ongoing support of terrorist attacks on Israel, as PMW notes.