During a Likud faction meeting Monday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
discussed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's
condemnation of the Itamar massacre
and demanded he work harder to stop the incitement against Israel.
Netanyahu praised Abbas for condemning the murder of the Fogel family in Itamar, but stressed that Abbas must also do so in the Palestinian media. "He must make it clear to his people as well," Netanyahu insisted.
Abbas called Netanyahu on Saturday and expressed his condolences for the murder of the family in Itamar.
Earlier, Abbas condemned the Itamar massacre during an Israeli radio interview. The terror attack was "a disgraceful act, inhuman and immoral,"
A few hours later Netanyahu told his faction members that "Abu-Mazen (Abbas) must make it clearer to his people as well that murder isn't acceptable and he must clarify that the incitement must stop. It's in his hands - and the sooner the better.
The prime minister criticized a few western countries that did not condemn the Fogel family massacre. "I demanded that the international community condemn this crime. Some did and others either didn't or did so in a very strange and technical manner," said Netanyahu.
During the Likud faction meeting Netanyahu complained before faction members and ministers that "for the most part" he stands "all alone" in the face of international criticism leveled at the Israeli government.
Knesset Member Michael Eitan praised Abbas's condemnation and called to renew the peace process. According to Eitan, if the PA returns to the negotiations table, Israel should encourage the move and take what he called confidence-building measures.
MK Carmel Shama discussed the Itamar massacre and congratulated the prime minister on the way he has handled the matter. "Your reaction was immediate, efficient, and precise and included the combination of bulldozers and building permits together with military measures – the right formula."
"Aside from reviving those who lost their lives, you've done everything for the families, settlers, security forces, the people and the world," he added.
Netanyahu has been under a lot of stress lately, and it showed during the faction meeting. MK Danny Danon complained that the Palestinian prisoners' holding conditions in Israel are very good compared to those of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Danon also mentioned that the bill proposing to worsen their holding conditions has not progressed.
The PM responded by saying: "I am dealing with all of the difficulties on my own. I'm handing all of the dillemas on my own. For the most part, I stand here all alone."
He made the statements in connection with the pressure brought upon him in the political and diplomatic arena and in connection with the Gilad Shalit
deal. Netanyahu clarified that he will insist that Palestinian terrorists who will be released from prison as part of the deal to free the captive Israeli soldier will not reach the West Bank.
"These people are organizing terror attacks even from jail. Recently we've been able to prevent it, I can't tell you how. You talk about the prisoners' holding conditions, and I'll keep talking about not releasing them to the West Bank," said Netanyahu.