A senior Palestinian Authority official said in an interview with Dr. Aaron Lerner of Independent Media Review & Analysis (IMRA) on Monday that the actions of a PA police officer who murdered an Israeli soldier last week were justified and that he should be released from prison.
When Lerner asked if PA officer Mahmoud Hattib, who stabbed and killed IDF Sgt. Ihab Khatib as he sat in his jeep at a "West Bank" checkpoint, should be released, Osama Al-Ghoul, the direct of the Information Department at the PA's Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, replied:
"Of course. This is our struggle with the Israeli occupation."
Lerner clarified that Al-Ghoul was not talking about extradition, but rather letting Hattib go free despite his crime.
"Of course. We are fighting the Israeli occupation. This is our land," insisted Al-Ghoul.
As part of its signed agreements with Israel, the Palestinian Authority is supposed to combat and punish the use of violence against Israelis. Based on those commitments, the international community classifies the Palestinian Authority and its leaders as "moderates" and "peace partners." Their actions would suggest otherwise.