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October 27, 2014 Special Dispatch No. 5865

Editorial In PA Daily: The Jerusalem Vehicular Incident Was A Traffic Accident, Not A Terror Attack; Israel Used It To Escalate The Violence In Jerusalem

October 27, 2014
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 5865

Following the October 22, 2014 vehicular attack in Jerusalem, in which two people were killed, Palestinian factions such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees presented it as a heroic act of resistance,[1] while the Palestinian Authority (PA) endorsed the claim of the driver's family that the incident was not a deliberate attack but a traffic accident.[2] Moreover, an editorial in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida claimed that Israel was presenting the incident as a terror attack, rather than an accident, in order to escalate the violence in Jerusalem and harm the Palestinian national enterprise.

The following is a sampling of Palestinian reactions to the incident, and excerpts from the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida editorial.

Hamas: The Attack – A Natural Reaction To Israeli Aggression

Hamas issued a statement praising the attacker, 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shaloudi, in which it acknowledged he was a member of the movement, and termed the incident "a natural and expected reaction to Israel's violations and growing aggression against the [Palestinian] residents and the holy places..." It also called to "unite efforts and forces and direct them at defending the holy city," and praised "the role of Al-Shaloudi's family, its jihad, and the sacrifices it has made in its steadfastness in the face of the actions and aggression of the occupation." Hamas called upon the Palestinian public "to escalate the confrontations with the occupation wherever it is found," while emphasizing its commitment to "resistance by all means and tools until the liberation of the land and the people from the Israeli occupation [is achieved]."[3] Hamas official Hussam Badran called the run-over incident "a heroic act" and "a reaction of the Palestinian people to the running over of the girl Inas Dar Khalil in Ramallah a few days ago." He added: "Whoever thinks the residents of the West Bank have abandoned the resistance is deluding himself."[4]

A poster published by Hamas in Al-Shaloudi's memory said: "The Hamas movement celebrates the nuptials[5] of its son, the heroic martyr 'Abd Al-Rahman Idris Al-Shaloudi... who carried out the courageous action in Jerusalem in which nine settlers were run over in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood." It added: "We are committed to jihad – [either] victory or martyrdom."[6]


Hamas poster in Al-Shaloudi's memory

PA Daily: The Incident Was A Traffic Accident, Not A Terror Attack

PA dailies presented the incident as a traffic accident. For example, an October 23 report on the incident in the daily Al-Ayyam said: "Nine people, including an infant, were killed in Sheikh Jarrah when a Palestinian driver, whom Israeli claims is a member of Hamas, crashed into pedestrians with the vehicle he was driving... Eye witnesses said the driver lost control of the vehicle..."[7] A report from the same day in the daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida said: "The occupation forces are exploiting the traffic accident to exacerbate the oppression in Jerusalem and to incite against the PA."[8]

The October 27 editorial in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida stated: "Three months ago, Israel used the kidnapping of the three settlers as an excuse to wage its cruel war on Gaza for 51 days. [Israel's] original plan was to wage this war against the West Bank, which is [meant to be] the central region of the independent Palestinian state, whose capital is East Jerusalem... But the murder of the boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive, caused Israel to 'escape forward' [i.e., dodge the issue by creating a new crisis], as usual, by using the only tool it knows how to use, namely war, which it waged against Gaza with unprecedented brutality.

"Israel – and the reference here is always to the extremist right-wing Israel – did not attain any significant political achievement in this war [on Gaza], and especially not in its assault on the political discourse of [the West Bank], which is the main geographical region of the [Palestinian] national enterprise, [discourse] that has begun to bear fruit in the international arena...

"Israel has [now] once again chosen the option of 'escaping forward' by inventing crises and escalating the violence, this time in the geographical epicenter of the Palestinian national enterprise – East Jerusalem. It arranged for settlers to attack the Al-Aqsa [mosque], while concurrently announcing new settlement projects in the holy city. In addition, it recently invented another excuse, as it does so well, when it presented a traffic accident caused by the martyr ['Abd Al-Rahman] Al-Shaloudi as a terrorist attack (!!) in order [to justify] yet another escalation of the violence, in what looks like the beginning of another cruel war, this time against Jerusalem and its [Arab] residents.

"Israel wants nothing more than to keep striking at the Palestinian national enterprise, and it is deluding itself today into thinking that, with this escalation in Jerusalem, it can do damage to [the enterprise] and to the diplomatic assault that will soon be launched at the Security Council.

"In other words, the current Israeli escalation is meant only to serve the goals of the extremist Israeli right in terms of settlements and takeovers, and to kill the independent Palestinian state enterprise. It might be worth mentioning that the [Sinai jihadi] organizations that purport to support Jerusalem [such as Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis] are currently occupied with attacking the Egyptian military in Sinai, while the campaign in Jerusalem worsens. This can only mean that these moves continue to be planned in the darkness of intelligence circles that oppose any national enterprise. That is why chairman Abu Mazen declared that we [Palestinians] support Egypt in any move it takes against this terrorism, and this is how we will always act – not just in order to defend big sister Egypt, but in order to defend our national enterprise – whose strongest and most steadfast bastion is once again Egyptian nationalism, with its new historic leadership.

"Terrorism and the extremist right wing in Israel desire only the [severed] head of the national movement and its enterprise here and in Egypt, which naturally makes this a war of wills. So long as our will remains resistant to breaking and defeat - and moreover, if nationalism in dearest Egypt is victorious - this will not only becomes stronger, but also nearer to victory and statehood, and the clock of independence will tick everywhere."[9]

Fatah also issued an announcement celebrating Al-Shaoudi's "nuptials." The announcement, posted on a Facebook page associated with Fatah, said: "The Fatah movement in the Silwan area celebrates the nuptials of martyr... who carried out the operation in which settlers in occupied Jerusalem were run over."[10]


Endnotes:

[1] For reactions by Islamic Jihad, see Saraya.ps; for a statement by the Resistance Committees, see Qaweim.com, October 25, 2014.

[2] For the family's position, see Al-Quds (Jerusalem), October 27, 2014.

[3] Hamasinfo.net, October 23, 2014.

[4] Palinfo.com, October 23, 2014.

[5] According to Islamic tradition, one of the rewards of the martyr is marriage to 72 Virgins of Paradise.

[6] Ajnad-news.com, October 23, 2014.

[7] Al-Ayyam (PA), October 23, 2014.

[8] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), October 23, 2014.

[9] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), October 27, 2014.

[10] Facebook.com/fatehal3sfh, October 23, 2014.

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