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PA condemns attack claimed by Hamas
Published Tuesday 31/08/2010 (updated) 02/09/2010 17:18
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority has condemned Tuesday's shooting attack that left four Israeli citizens dead near a settlement close to Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

"What happened tonight in Hebron was timed to coincide with the PLO's decision to engage in negotiations to end the occupation and achieve freedom and independence for our people," Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said.

"We condemn this operation, which runs counter to Palestinian interests and against efforts of Palestinian leadership to mobilize international support for the rights of our people as well as with previously signed agreements," Fayyad told Ma'an shortly after the attack.

Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a car driving east of the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron at 6:30 p.m, army officials said. The victims were related and included a pregnant woman, the Israeli military said.

The attack came hours after 10 armed settlers opened fire at three Palestinian teenagers as they tended to their land in the Salfit district village of Deir Istiya, the mayor said. There were no reports of injury.

The Ramallah-based prime minister called on all Palestinians to categorically renounce violence and protect the legitimacy of the peaceful resistance movement against the settlements and other Israeli practices.

"This is the path to salvation, not exploiting the suffering of the Palestinian people in the service of class and regional agendas contrary to the interests of our people with slogans devoid of meaning," Fayyad said.

He warned against "being sucked into a spiral of violence. Our people know through extensive experience what serves practical and higher national interests. This is why it is natural to join forces to reject the occupation by renouncing violence in all its forms."

Hamas praised the "heroic" attack, and its militant wing later claimed responsibility.

Earlier, a Palestinian group calling itself the Haq ("Rights") Brigades has claimed responsibility.

In a statement to Ma'an, Haq said its operatives successfully fled capture. The attack comes in response to the PLO's decision to return to direct negotiations with Israel, the statement said.

PLO officials were en route to Washington at the time of the attack.

Israel's commander of the Judea and Samaria (West Bank) Regional Brigade, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, said, "The investigation is still underway. We were on high alert in light of the upcoming holiday period but regretfully, we were unable to prevent the attack. We will continue to be on high alert in the area."

Alon said in a statement distributed by the Israeli army that "as far as we can tell, the Hamas terror organization is behind the attack. ... The forces are currently searching the area for the terrorists responsible."

Fayyad stressed that Tuesday's attack took place in an area of the West Bank controlled by the Israeli military and falls outside of the PA's security responsibilities under the Oslo Accords.

The PA will continue to take "all measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such events in order to demonstrate the government's ability to ensure security," he said.

Americans for Peace Now, a Washington-based group which opposes settlements, condemned the attack.

"Today's attack is a senseless act of violence whose likely purpose is to derail the peace talks that are set to get underway in Washington," director Debra DeLee said in a statement.

"There are no doubt self-appointed spoilers who want to force both Israelis and Palestinians to spurn negotiations in favor of continued conflict. They cannot be permitted to succeed," she said.
1 ) Ahmed Quaram / Canada
31/08/2010 23:45
Hamas is an arm of the neo nazi Ahmadinejad regime and sacrifices Palestinian aspirations for Ahmadinejad and his gang of goons.

2 ) Shlomo Rabinowitz / New York
01/09/2010 02:18
When we Jews steal other peoples land and settle it with militant thugs, what other response should we expect. Wake up my Jewish brethren. We have taken enough that does not belong to us. Its time to say enough.

3 ) Malone / Hfx
01/09/2010 02:34
This is a "heroic act"...?????????
4 civilians murdered?????
What a bunch of cowards!

4 ) John / USA
01/09/2010 04:23
What if I came and pitched a tent in your backyard, then came along and took over part of your house. Then threw you out. How long until you react? Wouldn't you would consider me a criminal, albeit a civilian. Settlement building is considered a war crime. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and the world recognizes this, even Israels friends. Go wash your face with cold water and wake up.

5 ) jan / world
01/09/2010 04:47
just for perspective, al jazeera reported that the hamas spokesman to whom they spoke did not express support or refer to this as "heroic"... it's actually rather broad for ma'an to attribute that statement to hamas as a whole...

6 ) Courtney Maltrom / Canada
01/09/2010 05:12
I expect Neyanyahu will wait till after the talks whether successful or not. His reprisal will be large and dis-proportionate,and many of the corridors recently opened in Gaza will be shut down.

7 ) M.K / Sweden
01/09/2010 05:22
How are they innocent, living in an illegal settlement? Ridicolous. The PA can go screw themselves, talking about whats in the palestinians interest. Even more ridicolous! Long live all islamic resistance in the middle east. From Iraq to Afghnaistan, to Kashmir and Palestine.

8 ) Niva dos Santos / Brazil
01/09/2010 06:32
"The attack came hours after 10 armed settlers opened fire at three Palestinian teenagers as they tended to their land in the Salfit district village of Deir Istiya, the mayor said. There were no reports of injury." Zions, as always, shot first! Was a response not a plot!

9 ) JH / USA
01/09/2010 07:12
Hmmm...I wonder how a "Hamas" wing of militants was able to infiltrate the West Bank and make it to Hebron near a settlement to carry out the attack under Israel's watchful eye? Does anyone smell a rat here, or is it just me?

10 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
01/09/2010 07:34
Four Jews murdered Shlomo including the parents of little children and another, a pregnant mother. Did you call these people "militant thugs"? And did you call us "Jewish brethern". You, a self-loathing Jew without any sorrow nor compassion for your murdered "brethern". What kind of despicable man are you, Shlomo?

01/09/2010 07:34

12 ) John / Jerusalem
01/09/2010 08:47
No excuses. Murder pure and simple. Makes peace harder. Tarnishes the image of Palestine in the world and makes Abbas's/Obama's job of putting pressure on Israel to end the occupation even harder. Stupid, senseless, evil act by stupid, senseless, evil people. Wanting Palestinians to be free does not mean condoning the killing of pregnant women. Not in my world.

13 ) Palestinian activist / Palestine
01/09/2010 08:50

14 ) Disappointed / West Bank
01/09/2010 09:53
#9: They are everywhere, not just in Gaza, don't be so naive. But propably those idiots were just some crazy people who are supporting Hamas..

Even tough these Jews are living in a illegal settlement, this act is not acceptable, murder is a murder. These people shooting civilians are loonatics, like any other people shooting others. They are not acting for Palestinian people. Shame on you.

15 ) Mahmud Singh / Austria
01/09/2010 09:53
Right, murder pure and simple. Same Hamas game as always.

@4.): I've heard this "camping example" so many times, I have to respond to this:If I sell you my backyard, it's your decision if you pitch a tent there or not. At first, Zionists BOUGHT land from rich Arab landlords, and expelled the peasants there. As long as private land ownership exists, they had the "legal right" to. Stop morally blaming individuals just to feel right, start analyzing historical processes and political structures

16 ) Joshua / Jerusalem
01/09/2010 11:03
No ilegal settlers in Palestinian territories, no crimes, that simple.

17 ) end of time / Bulgaria
01/09/2010 11:57
hamas are muderers and do now want peace.

18 ) Phil / UK
01/09/2010 11:59
All this has done is reminded countries that have suffered similar terrorist atrocities of the fact that Israelis stand on the front line against terrorism. There will have to be punishing action taken against Hamas. As with Cast Lead, don't expect civilised countries to protest too loudly.

19 ) lisa / usa
01/09/2010 14:08
Hamas has strayed so far from its origins. It has become a perversion of what it started out as. It's understandable that 40 plus years of occupation would change an organization but at the same time it now is a total impediment to Palestinians gaining the support they need internationally to gain statehood. Hamas behavior just keeps answering the right wing's prayers.

20 ) MARK / UA
01/09/2010 14:53
I just was woundering what was those settlers doing in West bank, is not that a land occupied in 1967 by Isreal,
If UN clarify that this is a land which belongs to Palestine, how come armed people making their own rule ...
iam against any violant action, but isnt taking some other people's land a violance also.
little thinking

21 ) Phil / UK
01/09/2010 19:18
#19: Lisa, your post shows your lack of understanding of the situation. Hamas was formed for the sole purpose of anihilating Jews. That purpose is declared in their charter. The Arabs (knowing this fact) voted them into power. By that vote they told the whole world that they don't want peace. They want victory. They want Hamas to kill all Jews. And please don't answer me by saying they only want Jews out of occupied areas, because they declare all the land to be occupied.

22 ) Terry / Sweden
01/09/2010 21:02
Hey, Star Wars Phil, Hamas was formed in order to resist the occupation. If some people came to steal my land and kill my family and friends, I would also declare war on those people. That is what Hamas has done. No injustice, no Hamas. They won the elections because they were not corrupt and they provide valuable social services to their people. Your allegations that all Palestinians are anti-Semites is contrary to common sense, as is all of your posts.

23 ) John / USA
02/09/2010 01:18
21) Your ignorance and stupidity are glaring. Do you know that it was the Christian vote that gave Hamas the edge to help them win the elections? Do you think Arab Christians are also looking to annihilate the Jews? I told you several times that we have relatives married to Jews, is that impossible for you to comprehend? Why are you possessed with the notion that Palestinians only care about killing Jews...is this what your Star Wars version of Christianity tells you? Snap out of it man.

24 ) John / USA
02/09/2010 01:28
21)Yes, Phil...I personally consider all of Palestine to be occupied because to date we have no peace agreement recognizing Israels borders or the borders of Palestine.This does not mean I want to kill anyone.The PA is making a mistake by using the 67 borders as a starting point for negotiations. Negotiations should be based on British mandate Palestine...most Palestinians in fact do not come from the West Bank or Gaza but from Haifa, Yaffa , Nazareth, etc.

25 ) Phil / UK
02/09/2010 03:14
#22: Hamas bases its existance on Islamic claims that all land that has ever been ruled by Islam remains the property of muslims forever, even if they stole it by act of war. That includes Spain, Portugal and parts of France, which if they get the chance they will try to steal back. Hamas is a symptom of Islam that has existed long before Israel returned to the promised land. Terry, you are pig ignorant! Only you could use the term anti-Semite in a debate were both parties are Semites.

26 ) John / USA
02/09/2010 20:06
25) You don't know what your talking about Phil. Yes, there are muslims who have extreme positions want to bring the whole world under Islamic rule. Similarly there are extremist "Star Wars Christians" such as your self who believe God is a real estate agent siding with one people against another. Hamas has publicly said on many occasions that they would accept any peace deal that that was approved by the Palestinian people by way of referendum.
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