Average Palestinians and those in positions of power again demonstrated their commitment to and desire for peace with Israel by praising and celebrating a brutal terrorist attack in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning, when a 22-year-old Arab man boarded a public bus and stabbed 17 Jews.
The cartoon to the left was published just hours after the attack, and was enthusiastically shared by Palestinians on social media and displayed by local Arab news agencies. The character in the cartoon celebrates the stabbing of 10 “Zionists” (the original casualty figure provided by police) next to a sign that reads “Occupied Tel Aviv.”
Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq took to Twitter to hail the attack as “heroic and daring.” Another Hamas leader, Husam Badran wrote on Facebook that the group “praises this extraordinary act and calls for more devotion, as well as individual and collective resistance.”
It should be noted that Hamas is the ruling authority in Gaza, and is still being courted by “moderate” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in order to form a unity government.
Speaking of Abbas, who by mid-morning had failed to condemn the Tel Aviv attack, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he and his regime in Ramallah were as much to blame for the bloodshed as anyone.
“They are all part of a process of undermining the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, and it doesn’t matter to them whether it’s in Judea, Samaria, the Negev, the Galilee, Tel Aviv, or Jerusalem,” wrote Lieberman. “Therefore we must act with determination against all those people, who are operating under different names and at different levels, but they all have the same target: To kill Jews and destroy Israel.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likewise pointed an accusatory finger at the Palestinian Authority.
“The attack in Tel Aviv is the direct result of the poisonous incitement spread by the Palestinian Authority toward the Jews and their state,” he said in an official statement. “The ones who rushed to praise this attack are Hamas, Abbas’ partners in the unity government.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, whose Labor Party is predicted by some to score an upset victory in the upcoming election, said the attack highlighted that under Netanyahu, “There is not a feeling of security for Israeli citizens, not in Jerusalem, the Gaza region, or Tel Aviv.”
Wednesday’s attack, which left at least four in life-threatening condition, was halted by officers in a Prison Service’s vehicle traveling behind the bus. They noticed it had started driving erratically and followed closely before seeing the terrorist leap from the bus as he tried to flee the scene.
One of the Prison Service’s officers quickly responded by shooting the terrorist in the leg. The assailant was captured by police and interrogated at the scene.
It was later reported that the bus driver had struggled with the terrorist, accounting for the erratic driving. The driver suffered a stab wound to the liver, and is one of those listed in serious condition.