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April 17, 2014 10:44 am

Hamas Praises Deadly West Bank Shooting

avatar by Steven Emerson

A pro-Hamas rally at Al-Quds University on March 23. Photo: Tom Gross/Mideast Dispatch.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh praised a deadly West Bank shooting that killed an Israeli and wounded his wife and son as they drove on their way to celebrate the start of Passover.

The attack outside the city of Hebron “brought back life to the path of resistance” against Israel, Haniyeh said. Though no one claimed responsibility for the attack, Haniyeh warned of more attacks against Israel.

“We tell the enemy and anyone who thinks he is able to tame the West Bank … the West Bank will be the future point of our struggle with the enemy,” Haniyeh said.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “holds the Palestinian Authority responsible” for the shooting, stating that PA incitement of violence and hatred towards Israel inspired the attack.

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“The Palestinian Authority keeps broadcasting on its official channels messages which incite against the existence of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “This incitement translated into a murder of a father who was driving with his family to celebrate the Seder.”

The Palestinian Authority has not condemned the attack.

The victim, Baruch Mizrahi, was a chief superintendent in the Israel Police’s signal communications intelligence unit.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that Palestinians have killed 17 Israeli civilians in the West Bank since 2009, not including Monday’s murder.

During that same period, 76 Palestinians were killed. Even though the human rights group is critical of these deaths, spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli distinguished between the two death tolls. Palestinian terrorists purposely target civilians, she noted, whereas most of the Palestinian civilians were killed during violent altercations and arrest raids against terrorists.

“Contrary to certain Palestinian claims, attacks against civilians within Israel’s border are no different from attacks against settlers living in the West Bank. In both cases, the targets are civilians who must not be attacked and who must be protected from attacks, ” said Michaeli.

“The argument that there is justification for killing settlers as part of the struggle against Israeli occupation is both legally and morally groundless,” Michaeli said.

Palestinians have been demanding Israel release a promised group of prisoners, many of whom were involved in similar attacks as the latest Passover shooting.

Prisoner releases are among the issues that have brought U.S.-led peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians to the brink of collapse. The sides were supposed to meet Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to keep the talks alive. That was postponed in part because of the attack on Mizrahi’s family.

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