Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday apparently attempted to distance the PA establishment from the recent spate of terror attacks against Israelis, saying the perpetrators conducted such violence on their own initiative.
He described the lone-wolf attackers as “martyrs” and youth who “have lost hope.”
Without referring directly to this weekend’s spate of attacks, Abbas nonetheless asserted that the PA condemns terrorism in all of its forms.
“Everyday we have martyrs, and youth who are carrying knives,” he said at a meeting with Palestinian students and graduates on Venezuela’s Margarita Island, where he is attending a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
“Do not believe those who say there is someone pushing them [the attackers] or inciting them,” he added. “They do this on their own initiative, because they have lost hope and therefore go out with knives to carry out terrorist stabbings.”
While Abbas called for acts of “peaceful popular resistance” against Israel, he said that “the hands of the Palestinians are extended for peace.”
Abbas’s comments came after a relatively quiet period was shattered by a violent weekend that saw six attacks within a 48-hour period against Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank.