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March 19, 2018 12:27 pm

Did Palestinian Incitement Lead to Latest Terror Attack?

avatar by Steven Emerson

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An IDF soldier wounded in a Palestinian car-ramming attack arrives at a hospital in Petah Tikva, March 16, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Nir Keidar.

On Friday, a Palestinian terrorist drove his car into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing two and wounding two others in the northern West Bank. The attack occurred after Palestinian representatives called for yet another “Day of Rage.”

Israeli troops apprehended the terrorist, who fled the scene of the murders.

Friday’s deadly attack “makes it clear that the intifada is continuing for the Palestinian people,” said Hamas spokesperson Hazam Kasam.

Palestinian representatives had called for mass demonstrations on Friday to mark 100 days since President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets to riot. Palestinian stone throwers injured two other IDF soldiers.

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Several other Palestinian factions also praised Friday’s attack as “heroic,” and called for further “resistance [i.e. violence] in all its forms to bring down the Zio-American plot, whose intent is to liquidate the Palestinian Cause,” according to an Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) translation of a Quds Press Service article.

In a statement glorifying the attack, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed that the murders, “sent a political message. It trampled Trump’s decision on Jerusalem after the passage of 100 days. It proved that our people are vigilant, united and ready to thwart this decision or any plan which targets our cause and our existence.”

In a series of posts on its official Facebook page, Fatah referred to the terrorist attack as an “operation” — according to an IPT translation. This label was Fatah’s way of characterizing the car ramming attack as a legitimate military operation.

Before the attack, the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces — a coalition of Palestinian factions — called on Palestinians to clash violently with Israeli forces and civilians after Friday prayers. The coalition includes representatives of factions in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

When it comes to the US recognition of Jerusalem, Palestinians will “never back down,” a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said. He also promised that “rage” would continue in response to the new US policy. Fatah also announced that Trump had issued “a declaration of war against the Palestinian people.”

These violent clashes come as the Palestinian Authority ignores the Trump administration’s peace negotiations effortsLast week, the White House hosted a conference featuring representatives from Egypt, Israel, Jordan Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to focus on alleviating a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Palestinian officials boycotted the event — prioritizing ideological stubbornness over the immediate needs of the Palestinian people.

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