Abbas speaks out against attack – and against IDF
Photo: Reuters
Abbas condemns blast, IDF
PA leader slams attack, IDF operations; Obama offers condolences to both Israelis, Palestinians

Both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barack Obama condemned the Jerusalem attack Wednesday, but also mentioned Palestinian fatalities in Gaza and Israeli strikes on the Strip in their responses.


Abbas published a statement Wednesday condemning the Jerusalem terror attack. The Palestinian leader also condemned the IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip that killed eight Palestinians, including three civilians.


US President Barack Obama also condemned the blast Wednesday afternoon.


"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the bombing in Jerusalem today, as well as the rockets and mortars fired from Gaza in recent days. Together with he said. "There is never any possible justification for terrorism. The United States calls on the groups responsible to end these attacks at once and we underscore that Israel, like all nations, has a right to self-defense."


However, the president also chose to express America's condolences for Palestinian deaths at this time.


"We also express our deepest condolences for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza yesterday. We stress the importance of calm and urge all parties to do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties," he said.


Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also denounced the Jerusalem attack. In a statement issued by the PM, he said he harshly condemns the act regardless of who was behind it, and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded.


"This is a shameful act. Such acts harm our just struggle and wholly contradict the legitimate demand for independence in peaceful ways," he said


Reaction among Palestinian terror groups was more upbeat, as could it be expected. The Popular Resistance Committees, a Gaza terror group, lauded the bombing and said it came in response to "Israel's crimes." The Islamic Jihad also lauded the attack but did not claim responsibility for it. Group spokesman Abu-Ahmed said the attack is a "natural response to the enemy's crimes."


"It's a clear and powerful message to Israel that her crimes won't be able to break the resistance," he said.

One woman was killed in the Jerusalem blast and nearly 40 people were wounded, after an explosive device was detonated near a local bus stop Wednesday afternoon.


Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to the story



First published: 23.03.11, 18:24
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