The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “waging a vicious campaign” against Palestinians in the wake of the Itamar murders.
The attitude of Netanyahu and his government in the wake of the killings, secretary of the PLO body Yasser Abed Rabbo told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday, “aimed at destroying all political efforts aimed at reviving the peace process.”
Israeli officials immediately branded the murder of the Fogel family in the Itamar settlement a terrorist attack, sparking waves of settler violence and accusations from Palestinians that Israeli soldiers were doing little to stop the tide.
Netanyahu announced, in retaliation for the attack, the construction of hundreds of new settler homes in the West Bank, adding to half a dozen illegal settlements.
Abed Rabbo, speaking after the PLO meeting which was chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas, said the Palestinian leadership “reject the attempts to take advantage” of the killings, and called for “Israeli public opinion not to be dragged by attempts of its government to slander the Palestinians.”
The course of action taken by Netanyahu, he said, was effectively “abuse to the future of the Palestinian cause.”
The official urged on youth groups protesting in Ramallah and Gaza City, saying their calls for unity must be heeded as a first step on the Palestinian political sphere in a move that would ultimately “confront settlements and the brutal Israeli crimes carried out against the Palestinians.”