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When we talk about the troubling rise of incitement and its effects on the hearts and minds of young Palestinians, there cannot be a more outrageous example than an incident that occurred last week. At the heart of this incident was Mohamed Assi, a terrorist responsible for the November 2012 bus bomb explosion that injured 29 civilians in the centre of Tel Aviv. Last week, Assi died in a firefight when the Israel Defense Forces attempted to arrest him so he could be brought to trial.
Amazingly, astonishingly and outrageously, Palestinian Authority President Abbas found it appropriate to write a condolence letter to the terrorist’s family. In his condolence letter, he wrote:
“With great pain we received the news of the martyr’s death of the dear son, the late fighter Mohamed Assi, who was murdered by the killing gangs of the Occupation Army in cold blood. We express to all of you and to his distinguished family our sincere condolences on his passing and stress to you that the Occupation’s crimes will not frighten our people, and that the blood of all the martyrs will not be spilled in vain.”
Terrorism does not begin with an attack on a bus or a café. That is how terrorism ends. Terrorism begins when its perpetrators are indoctrinated with words and thoughts of hate.
President Abbas’s letter is just the most recent example of the incitement poisoning the next generation. In classrooms, textbooks and houses of worship, Palestinian children are being taught hate instead of peace; violence instead of tolerance; and martyrdom instead of mutual understanding. I urge you to condemn the rise in incitement and to urge others in the international community to do the same.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.