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January 26, 2023
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Dan Ben-Eliezer, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Romania: A shocking terrorist attack in Jerusalem

A massacre of peaceful worshippers took place yesterday in Jerusalem, the latest in a series of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis. Using a gun and butcher knives, two Palestinian terrorists entered a synagogue in Har Nof neighbourhood and brutally murdered four innocent Jews during their morning prayers. All four were rabbis. A police officer who was critically injured while attempting to stop the terrorist attack succumbed to his wounds later in the day, bringing the death toll to five. The two terrorists were also killed during the exchange of fire with the police.

The terrorist attacks as well as Palestinian violence on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount are caused by intensive Palestinian incitement to hatred, violence and terrorism against Jews in Israel. The continuous vicious incitement is conducted by the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and extreme Islamist elements, particularly Hamas, and it is based on false claims against Israel and outright lies, including about sensitive religious issues. For example, on Sunday, a Palestinian bus driver committed suicide in Jerusalem. The official autopsy and police investigation found that he had committed suicide by hanging himself inside his bus. Despite this, official PA media and other sources enflamed the situation by spreading the lie that he was murdered by Jews. The main headline of the official PA paper, al-Hayat al-Jadida, quoted Abbas calling the suicide “an abominable crime” and the bus driver “a martyr.”

Palestinian incitement also continues despite last Thursday’s talks (13 Nov.) in Jordan between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary John Kerry, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan. The parties were supposed to act to calm the situation in Jerusalem. Israel did; Abbas most certainly did not.

While Israel acted to restore calm and reaffirmed its commitment to the status quo on the Temple Mount, the Palestinians incited to terrorism and carried out murders. On Friday, the Government ended the temporary security restriction on younger Muslims praying there, however, the PA’s official media called for a “Day of Rage” that same day.

Abbas’ office did issue a condemnation of yesterday’s attack, but it focused more on blaming Israel than denouncing or even identifying the attackers. It was clearly an attempt to deflect international pressure. Moreover, Abbas’ own Fatah party praised the terrorists who attacked the synagogue. Sultan Abu Al-Einein, an advisor to Abbas and a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, called the synagogue attack “heroic” on Facebook.

Unfortunately, until now most members of the international community have turned a blind eye to Palestinian incitement to violence. This has permitted Abbas and other Palestinian leaders to allow the publication of hate speech and blood libels that directly inspire terrorist attacks.

As US Secretary of State John Kerry stated (18 Nov.) that the attack on the synagogue was “the pure result of incitement”, it is important that world leaders and the international community condemn this systematic and pervasive incitement.

Several governments have already condemned this latest attack, among them also the Government of Romania, which the State of Israel highly appreciates.

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