Arab Member of Knesset Mansour Abbas faced harsh condemnation from the Palestinian Authority (PA) after having made “embarrassing and shameful statements” about terrorist prisoners, who are not terrorists but are “heroic,” according to the PA.
In an interview last week with Israel’s Channel 12 News, Abbas said that “placing me as a terror supporter or embracer of terrorists – that never was. Whoever published that I visited the prison and met with terrorists and embraced them – that never happened.”
Following the interview, the director of PLO’s Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs, Qadri Abu Bakr, condemned Abbas, stressing that imprisoned Palestinian terrorists “are nothing but symbols of honor, heroism, and pride.”
Abu Bakr further emphasized that terrorism is the way to “liberate Jerusalem.”
“Mansour should be ashamed of himself and this statement. He must examine history and know well that the path to liberating Jerusalem is paved only by the sacrifices of our pure-hearted Martyrs, the years of the lives of our brave prisoners, the pains of our heroic wounded… They are nothing but symbols of honor, heroism, and pride,” said Abu Bakr, as reported by the Donia Al-Watan news agency
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which reported on the Palestinian responses, has documented that Abu Bakr is “at the forefront of the PA’s defense and justification of paying financial rewards to terrorists, be they imprisoned or released.”
A regular columnist for the PA’s official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida added that MK Mansour Abbas “crossed all the national red lines” and “stabbed a knife in the back of the Palestinian national struggle” by telling it like it is and saying that terrorists are “terrorists.”
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad terror groups likewise condemned Abbas.
The Israeli Arab lawmaker later backtracked and claimed he was misunderstood.
He said that he had not called the prisoners “terrorists” and “did not mean this phrase, and I apologize if I erred. In my interview on Channel 12 in Hebrew I did not describe the prisoners as terrorists, I replied to the reporter in Hebrew. Maybe I was wrong in my answer to the journalist, I answered him with the same terminology he used.”