Hamas, Islamic Jihad defend Abbas’s ’50 Holocausts’ remarks

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas gesticulates during a joint press conference with the German Chancellor at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on August 16, 2022. (Photo by JENS SCHLUETER / AFP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s political rivals in Hamas and Islamic Jihad have come out in his defense following the uproar over his remarks in Germany, where he accused Israel of perpetrating “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians.

The two groups said that Abbas’s statements represented the Palestinians’ “historical narrative.”

The PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), which are opposed to Abbas’s policies, also defended him over the weekend.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt” Deut. 25:17

 PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY President Mahmoud Abbas speaks as he and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attend a news conference in Berlin on Tuesday. (credit: LISI NIESNER/ REUTERS)

Putting it into context

The rare show of solidarity with Abbas by the four groups came as the PA and many Palestinians strongly condemned the “campaign of incitement” against him in response to his statements in Germany last week.

The groups also denounced the German police for launching a preliminary investigation against Abbas.

The PA leadership, meanwhile, is seeking to take advantage of the widespread criticism to muster support for Abbas. A recent public opinion poll found that more than 70% of the Palestinians want Abbas to step down. Abbas has also faced criticism from many Palestinians for failing to hold general elections and endorse major reforms in the PA.

On Friday, the PA and its ruling Fatah faction organized a hero’s welcome for Abbas upon his return to Ramallah, where several Palestinians praised him for “telling the truth about Israeli crimes” during his visit to Germany.

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