How Did the Muslim World Responded to Recent Terror Attacks in Israel?

Some Arab states stand arm-in-arm with Israel against Palestinian terror, while others continue to excuse it as a “legitimate” response to Zionism

By Rachel Avraham | | Topics: Terrorism, Abraham Accords
Fewer and fewer in the Muslim world are standing with the Palestinians in their violent conflict with Israel.
Fewer and fewer in the Muslim world are standing with the Palestinians in their violent conflict with Israel. Photo: Jamal Awad/Flash90

Eleven Israelis were killed in a recent series of terror attacks in Beersheva, Hadera and Bnei Barak. This was followed by a shootout between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists in Jenin. The question remains, how have Muslim countries who are at peace with Israel responded to these terror attacks versus entities that are ideologically opposed to the Jewish state’s existence?

Following the recent terror attacks, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry condemned what happened on its official Twitter page: “We strongly condemn the terror attacks in Israel that claimed the lives of innocent people. Azerbaijan used to suffer from terrorism and condemns all its forms and manifestations. We extend our condolences to families of the victims of heinous attacks, to the government and people of Israel.” Azerbaijan has had diplomatic relations with Israel since the state’s founding and recently opened up a Tourism Office in Israel.

In a call with Israel President Isaac Herzog, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is trying to improve his relationship with the Jewish state in recent days, condemned the series of terror attacks. “Condemning the heinous terror attacks that recently took place in different cities in Israel, President Erdogan conveyed his condolences for those who lost their lives and wished a speedy recovery to the injured,” the office of the Turkish presidency said after the conversation.

Following the shooting in Bnei Barak, the Kingdom of Bahrain released the following statement: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the terrorist attack that took place near Tel Aviv in Bnei Barak, Israel, which took the lives of five people. The Ministry expresses condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and to the Israeli government, stressing the position of the Kingdom of Bahrain that rejects all forms of terrorism, extremism and violence.” Bahrain had earlier condemned the other terror attacks at the Negev Summit, together with Morocco, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said at the summit: “I would like to start by reiterating Morocco’s condemnation of the terrorist attack in Hadera. Morocco’s sincere condolences to the victims and our wish of a speedy recovery to the injured.” He added that his presence alongside the foreign ministers of three other Arab countries at an Israeli-hosted summit was the “best response” to the recent terror attacks, some of which were linked to ISIS.

In addition to condemning terrorism at the Negev Summit, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Tel Aviv tweeted its condemnation of the recent terror attacks: “The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Tel Aviv condemns the recent terrorist attacks in Israel, the embassy also expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and shares its prayers to the injured and their families, wishing them a speedy recovery.”

However, countries and entities that are not at peace with Israel have reacted very differently. At a recent Organization of Islamic Cooperation Conference, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was quiet about the recent terror attacks in Israel, but stated: “The Muslim world is faced with conflicts in the Middle East, prolonged foreign occupation, and the denial of the right to self-determination, most notably to the people of Palestine and Kashmir.”

According to MEMRI, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is known for his views in favor of Islamist and jihadi organizations, declaring in recent years: “The Jewish lobby controls the global media.” At the conference, which was held in Pakistan, he said: “We have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir. I am sad to say we have not been able to make an impact. We Muslims are 1.5 billion people and yet our voice to stop this blatant injustice is insignificant.”

The conference ended with the passing of a resolution stating: “We re-emphasize the centrality of the question of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem] for the Muslim Ummah, reaffirming its principled and continued support to the Palestinian people to regain their inalienable legitimate national rights, including their right to self-determination and the independence of the State of Palestine…with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. …We reaffirm that Al-Quds Al-Sharif is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territory of the State of Palestine and call on the international community to compel Israel, the occupying power, to desist from its colonial practices…aimed at altering the character and legal status of the Holy City, including through intensification of Jewish colonial settlements…as well as reiterate that maintaining Jerusalem’s legal status as the Capital of the State of Palestine is the only guarantee to achieving peace and security for the region.”

According to MEMRI, a series of prominent figures in the Qatari media praised the recent terror attacks in Israel. Qatari journalist Ebtesam Aal Sa’ad tweeted a photo of the Bnei Barak terrorist Diaa Hamarsha, who spent six months in an Israeli prison in 2013, and wrote: “He came out of the prison of the occupation not in order to enjoy life with his family and plan his future, but to be rewarded with Paradise and its pleasures. He killed five settlers – leaving not [even] one of them wounded so he could recover and kill 10 Palestinians out of vindictiveness, blood thirst and aggression – and then was martyred. That was Diaa Hamarsha, who carried out the martyrdom operation in Tel Aviv [i.e., in Bnei Barak, near Tel Aviv].”

Al-Jazeera presenter Ahmed Mansour tweeted footage of the Bnei Barak shooting, and wrote: “This attack, the third [to strike] the heart of the Israeli entity this week, killed five settlers and wounded six, bringing the total of the Israeli fatalities [in this wave of attacks] to 11. Diaa Hamarsha carried out the attack on Tuesday [March 29] in three separate locations. He moved from one point to the next with determination and courage, hitting his targets – namely the settlers – with precision and sowing fear and terror among them before being martyred.”

Hezbollah, a pro-Iranian proxy and terror organization based in Lebanon, proclaimed that the Hadera attack was an “example of Palestinian steadfastness in confronting the occupation.” According to them, it was an example of a Palestinian response to the “infamous and treacherous normalization meetings [in Israel] by some Arab regimes.” Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and ISIS have also praised the recent terror attacks. In fact, ISIS even claimed responsibility for the Hadera and Beersheba attacks. According to Palestinian Media Watch, even Fatah condoned the recent terror attacks, despite the fact that Abu Mazen “stressed that the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only lead to a deterioration in the situation.”

According to the Jenin Branch of the Fatah Movement, “This is a clear Palestinian message to the world that the Palestinian people adheres to the right to defend its land and its historic right, which has no statutes of limitations and is inalienable. This is also a message to the oppressive occupation that the Palestinian response to the occupation’s crimes will dish out twice as much as it received.”

“The Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah Jenin Branch in the presence of our glorious people accompanies in his wedding heroic Martyr Diya Ahmed Hassan Hamarsheh,” they continued. “He was shot by the treacherous Israeli occupation and ascended to heaven on the land of occupied Palestinian Tal Al Rabia (Tel Aviv) while bravely defending our people and the Palestinian right that was stolen.”

According to MEMRI, British-Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan wrote following the Hadera terror attack: “I am truly happy. By God, I am gloating over this. I am gloating over the four Arab foreign ministers including the foreign minister of great Egypt, who scurried to the Negev to attend a meeting, led by Blinken, and for what? To defend and support Israel in the region? To establish a new ‘NATO’ alliance?”

He continued: “I am gloating because the ones who ruined their celebration and completely changed the direction of the compass’ needle were Ayman and Ibrahim Aghbariya [who carried out the attack in Hadera], two young men from the areas occupied in 1948. These two young men had firearms. They came from Umm Al-Fahm, inside [Israel].”

According to Atwan, “They came to carry out an operation against the occupation. They did not kill civilians. See how sublime they were. No. They killed members of the Israeli Border Police. They killed two and wounded 12 others. There is loftiness and tolerance in saying: We are against the police, not the civilians.” The fact that one of the two soldiers was a Christian Arab meant nothing to him. Furthermore, in his article, he was silent about the Beersheva attack, which occurred right before the Hadera attack, where the victims included two mothers, one old man and a rabbi. In other words, all of them were civilians, yet he still had no sympathy for them.

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