Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas walked back comments made in Germany on Tuesday accusing Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians.

In a statement released Wednesday, Abbas called the Holocaust “the most heinous crime in modern human history.”

The statement, released by the Palestinian Wafa news agency, added that Abbas did not intend to “deny the singularity of the Holocaust that occurred in the last century” and he condemns it “in the strongest terms.”

“What is meant by the crimes that President Mahmoud Abbas spoke about are the crimes and massacres committed against the Palestinian people since the Nakba at the hands of the Israeli forces. These crimes have not stopped to this day,” the statement said.

Abbas’ original remarks were made during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. With the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of 11 Israeli coaches and athletes by Palestinian terrorists approaching, Abbas was asked if he intended to apologize to Israel and Germany.

“If we want to go over the past, go ahead. I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed … 50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 Holocausts,” Abbas replied.

Scholz condemned Abbas on Wednesday in a statement on Twitter, writing, “I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud #Abbas. For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also slammed Abbas’ comments on Wednesday, calling them a “monstrous lie.”

“Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ‘50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one-and-a-half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him,” Lapid tweeted.

 

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