PA President Abbas calls US Ambassador Friedman 'son of a dog'

Nellie Chapman
March 20, 2018

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called the USA ambassador to Israel a "son of a dog" because of his support for Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

American envoy to Israel-PA negotiations Jason Greenblatt called Abbas's statements "highly inappropriate insults" and said that while the White House is "committed to the Palestinian people", President Abbas must "choose between hateful rhetoric and concrete and practical efforts to improve the quality of life of his people and lead them to peace and prosperity". No condemnation", Friedman said later on Monday, speaking at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, according to Haaretz. "I saw his response on my iPhone.

Abbas, addressing the opening of a Palestinian leadership meeting, made the comments hours after Friedman criticized the PA on Twitter for failing to condemn a pair of terror attacks over the weekend.

He said Mr Abbas's "response was to refer to me as a son of a dog".

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also responded, saying, "Abu Mazen's remarks about US Ambassador David Friedman say everything".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused on Monday the Hamas Movement of being involved in the assassination attempt that targeted the convoy of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and head of intelligence Majid Faraj last week in the Gaza Strip. Is that anti-Semitism or political discourse?

"President Abbas's comments were outrageous and unhelpful", she said.

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"For the first time in decades, the US administration has stopped spoiling the Palestinian leaders and tells them: enough is enough", Netanyahu said on Twitter.

Israel has militarily occupied the West Bank since 1967 but Abbas's government has limited autonomy in parts of it.

Relations have grown even worse since Hamdallah and Palestinian security chief Majid Faraj's convoy was attacked by a roadside bomb in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on March 13.

He said the incident will "not be allowed to pass", and announced that he will take unspecified "national, legal and financial measures". By referring to the West Bank as "the north", Friedman drew strong criticism from the Palestinians over his unwillingness to recognize the status of the landlocked enclave as an occupied territory.

The Islamists and Abbas' secular party Fatah have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas seized control of Gaza in a near civil war.

Abbas has previously taken a series of measures, including reducing electricity payments for Gaza's two million residents, in what analysts said was an attempt to punish Hamas.

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