Palestinian Authority’s Abbas Holds Presidential Reception for Family of Terrorist Who Murdered Israeli Merchant in 2003; Lauds Killer as ‘Hero’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held an official reception at his headquarters in Ramallah on Saturday for the family of a terrorist who died last month of a heart attack, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Sunday.
According to the report, Abbas warmly embraced the immediate family members of Yasser Hamdouni, who murdered an Israeli 13 years ago and was serving a life sentence in the Rimon Prison. “Your son was a hero,” Abbas said. “The blood of the martyrs and victims was not spilled in vain. They will be part of our path to an independent state whose capital is east Jerusalem.”
Hamdouni, who passed away after attempts to revive him at the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva failed, was one of two terrorists who shot and killed 51-year-old Netanya resident Avner Maimon while he was buying charcoal in the Palestinian village of Yabed in June of 2003.
As Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported at the time, though under security jurisdiction of the Jewish state, Yabed is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and Maimon had ignored an IDF ban on Israeli travel there.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, affiliated with Abbas’ Fatah party — at the time headed by the late PLO chief Yasser Arafat — claimed responsibility for the attack.
The MFA said that a neighbor described Maimon — who ran a printing business in the Netanya market — as a friend to the Palestinians. He was survived by his wife, three children and his brother, who was also his business partner.
During the presidential reception this weekend, Abbas addressed the issue of Hamdouni’s imprisonment in Israel.
“The prisoner movement is continuing the national Palestinian project,” Abbas declared. “The Palestinian leadership is acting to end the suffering of the prisoners in the jails of the occupation.”
Hamdouni’s family welcomed Abbas’ words and said that their “son gave up his life for the liberation of Palestine and independence.”
Hamdouni, 40 at the time of his death, was buried on September 27.