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PLO negotiators condemn killing of US ambassador
Published Thursday 13/09/2012 (updated) 16/09/2012 15:25
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A demonstrator holds a placard during a rally to condemn the
killers of the US envoy to Libya and the attack on a consulate,
in Benghazi on Sept. 12, 2012. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori)

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian negotiators on Thursday remembered US ambassador Christopher Stevens as fair-minded and described his death in Libya as a major loss for American foreign policy.

Stevens, who was killed with three colleagues Tuesday in an attack on US institutions in Benghazi, had served years earlier as a political officer at the US consulate in Jerusalem.

"It's just tragic," said Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO leader and veteran negotiator with Israel. "It's very sad. I thought he was a person who was not just intelligent but also caring."

As a mediator, the Arabic-speaking envoy "understood the Palestinian situation well. He was very understanding and he listened; he didn't repeat talking points," Ashrawi said in an interview.

"He could have made a big difference in people's lives and, really, to America's standing and credibility. His loss is a loss not only to US foreign policy but also to its standing with other states."

Stevens and three other Americans died after gunmen attacked the US consulate and a safe house refuge in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday night. The attackers were part of a mob blaming America for a film they said insulted the prophet Mohammad.

Demonstrators later attacked the US embassies in Yemen and Egypt in protests against the film, and American warships were moved closer to Libya.

Senior PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat blasted Stevens' murder as an "ugly act of terror."

"He was a really close friend of the family, and I am really shocked," Erekat told Ma'an. "He was murdered in a very ugly act of terror, and it's so despicable."

Erekat said he had personally communicated to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the Palestinian people's condolences.

"Such a good man, such a great loss. His heart was in the peace process, and I'm sure his heart was also in the building of Libya," Erekat said.

"Of course no one tolerates the discrediting of our prophet Mohammad, but what did Stevens have to do with it? That's really unacceptable," he said of the alleged motive.

Earlier Clinton said Washington had nothing to do with the video, which she called "disgusting and reprehensible".

'Criminal attack'

In Ramallah, President Mahmoud Abbas offered his condolences to the White House upon learning of the killing, the Palestinian Authority's official news agency reported.

"On behalf of myself, personally, and all Palestinian people, we offer sincere condolences to the US president after the US ambassador in Libya was killed in a criminal attack," Abbas said.

Israeli officials also condemned the string of attacks against US diplomatic missions and said they were "evil terrorist attacks" against the West, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

In Tripoli late Thursday, Libyan deputy interior minister Wanis Sharif said authorities had made four arrests in the investigation so far.

"Four men are in custody and we are interrogating them because they are suspected of helping instigate the events at the US consulate," Sharif said.

He gave no more details.

President Barack Obama has vowed to bring to justice those responsible for the Benghazi attack, which US officials said may have been planned in advance.

Reuters contributed to this report.
1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
13/09/2012 23:19
The Palestinians learn the hard way that promoting radical Islam ends up killing people who are good for Palestinians. You Palestinians should learn from the Christians among you - your fellow Palestinians. Ignore the insults and be better than the insulters. Iranian leaders call us pigs and worse, but we don't go burning down Iranian embassies and staging riots all over the world. We look at Gaza and Ramallah and hear you chant "death to America." So, you got what your friends wanted.

2 ) southparkbear / usa
14/09/2012 01:30
sure, he stood side by side with Rachel

14/09/2012 07:15
Tragic: He helped the rebels - he supported them, sympathized with them. He built the Monster which ended up killing him. True tragedy. He did not understand who he was dealing with at all.

4 ) Nizar / Tanzania
14/09/2012 07:40
The murder of American staff over a hate film is an unmitigated wrong. But so are deaths caused by the US that go unremarked “Over one million people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since the U.S. and coalition attacks, based on lowest credible estimates. About 303 times as many people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq and Palestine than in the ghastly attacks of September 11, 2001."

14/09/2012 09:13

6 ) gabi / australia
14/09/2012 11:52
Brian Cohen - I don't hear you condemn those rabbis who call for death to all Arabs. And when were you in Gaza and Ramallah to hear calls for "death to America"? The same time as you were all over the West Bank and hearing the call by settler/terrorists for "death to the Arabs" Have you been to the West Bank? Oh, I forgot, Israelis are allowed access to the West Bank on Jews only roads but Palestinians have to go through checkpoints just to get to work, but are not allowed into Israel.

7 ) @ "He Was" (#s 5 & 7) / \ Tibi/Tubas
14/09/2012 16:31
He, like the USA, would NOT have supported Israeli "settlements", and

of "crude and offensive behavior or depictions of blasphemy",
that he had nothing to do with, and also would NOT have supported,
but even if he had, it's NOT AN EXCUSE FOR VIOLENCE & MURDER.

8 ) Mel / USA
14/09/2012 16:36
#1:Oh Brian!Israeli's have also learnt the 'hard way'by relying on barbarian Zionism to speak for all Jews!'You'Zionists'should learn from rational Muslims,Christians,Jews,around you(the majority)that radical Zionism & its brutal 'insults' of ALL others,will not be tolerated either.Israel's,methodically 'burnt' all PALESTINE,bombed Leb.attackedIraq,Egypt,deceived & LIED 2 America(aided by the political Christian "Taliban"who want to destroy tolerance,popular democracy&will sacrifice ALL,2do it!

9 ) if he was so good to the / Palestinians
14/09/2012 17:29
why , then, was he MURDERED???

14/09/2012 17:52
why do israelis blog on a palestinian page unless they are paid muslims die everyday at hands of: ISRAEL USA NATO UN RUSSIA ALL WANTING TO ROB OUR PETROL

11 ) Arnold / Canada
14/09/2012 20:02
If it was not for the intelligence of the west you would not know what to do with your petrol. I am not an Israeli or a Zionist yet i post here on Maan. I also post on Lebanon's Daily Star and Turkey's Hurriyet. But I am of the Hebrew faith. A Jew to you.

12 ) Solon / USA
14/09/2012 20:18
re: "If he was so good to Palestinians why was he MURDERED?? indeed; cui bono. Bibi benefits -- he needs Americans to hate Muslims & Obama; murder of an American diplomat provides a visceral casus belli. Romney benefits -he already had spin to bash Muslims & Obama before most Americans knew what had happened. Mitt skewed the chronology: the film said to have precipitated protests was released weeks ago. The killing was well planned and carried out opportunistically.

13 ) Tobias / USA
14/09/2012 22:03
Yes, the "Slain US envoy understood the Palestinian situation",
and he even sympathized with them,
and he would have condemned the film,
for which his Muslim murderers killed him !!!

14 ) @ Solon-12 / USA too
14/09/2012 22:13
This is NOT about "Bibi, Romney, Obama, or anyone else.
To answer your question, the Ambassador and embassy staff
were "MURDERED" either:
- Political, where Muslims felt the situation was entirely too peaceful, or
- Simply because the required threshold to provoke a Muslim to murder
is incredibly low: Just a few minutes of Words & Pictures !!!

15 ) Filipe / Portugal
15/09/2012 11:42
"PLO negotiators condemn killing of US ambassador" Really !!! What are they negotiating? When did this start ?

16 ) Mukhtar Abdi Ogle / KENYA
15/09/2012 20:42
Those goons who killed Chris do not represent me. Whatever their grievances, there was no justification whatsoever in killing innocent friends of the Libyan revolution: two wrongs DO NOT make a right. The fact that another foolish guy made disparaging remarks/intents about Prophet Mohamed (SAW) does NOT warrant such disproportionate death/destruction. Not in my name or the name of Islam.
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