Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas described the recent wave of stabbing, car-ramming and other attacks against Israelis as constituting a “peaceful popular uprising.”
At the same time, the Palestinian leader accused Israel of carrying out “aggression,” which analysts believe is a reference to the killing of Palestinian assailants who were in the midst of attacking Israelis.
“We said to everyone that we want [a] peaceful popular uprising, and that’s what this is. That’s what this is,” Abbas said on the Palestinian Authority’s official television station.
“However, the aggression of firing bullets has come from the Israelis,” added Abbas, according to excerpts of his Nov. 16 remarks translated Tuesday by Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli nonprofit that monitors anti-Israel incitement in the official Palestinian media.
Abbas painted the two-month wave of nearly daily attacks on Israelis as an organic, grassroots phenomenon, not as something dictated from above.
“No one called for this and no one asked for it. It stemmed from the hearts of the young who have seen everything with their own eyes,” Abbas said.
“They have seen the oppression, the settlements, and they have seen the attacks by the herds of settlers, and therefore they have done what they have done,” he added.
According to Israeli Foreign Ministry figures compiled from the Magen David Adom first responders' service and the Israeli Defense Forces, 22 people were killed and 215 were wounded in Palestinian stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks in Israel between Sept. 13 and Nov. 30.
Palestinian Media Watch noted that while praising Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians Abbas made a point of condemning recent terrorist attacks in France, Lebanon and Jordan and the downing of a Russian passenger plane in Egypt.
The Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Nov. 15 quoted Abbas saying, “We hope that the region will dispose of terror and terrorists, and that all the peoples of the world and all countries will work together to combat terror everywhere, because it has no religion, homeland or affiliation. Therefore, we condemn all forms of terror, and always stand against it.'”