The PLO’s envoy to the United Kingdom, Husam Zomlot, refused to condemn the attack that killed seven Israelis on Shabbat, and described Islamic Jihad terrorists as “refugees” who were “ethnically cleansed.”
In an interview on Sky News, host Kay Burley asked Zomlot whether he condemns last Friday’s attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which she pointed out took place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Every life lost is absolutely a tragedy, and no one works for a nonviolent solution to this more than us,” he responded.
At which point Burley interjected: “Do you condemn it?”
“No,” answered Zomlot, adding: “I condemn the origin of all this. That’s what needs to be condemned here.”
When pressed again on whether he condemns the murder of Jews, Zomlot mumbled for a few seconds before responding: “We can sit here until the morning talking about condemnation. We must stop the cycle of violence. That’s what we need to do. And we must visit the root cause of this violence.”
He proceeded to describe Israel as a “colonizer,” “occupier” and “besieger.”
Zomlot subsequently claimed that the Palestinians killed during last Thursday’s IDF raid in Jenin were “refugees who were ethnically cleansed,” when in fact eight out of the nine fatalities were members of Islamic Jihad, which is designated by the United Kingdom as a terrorist organization.
The decision by Israeli security forces to conduct a large-scale counter-terrorism operation in Jenin during daylight hours was unusual, reflecting the urgent need to prevent a major terror plot from moving ahead.
That plot, according to security sources, involved a Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack against Israelis to be carried out in the immediate future.
After Burley posted a clip of the interview to Twitter, Zomlot accused her of manipulating his words.
Meanwhile, Israeli terror victim Shimon Maatuf died overnight Wednesday, almost nine months after he suffered severe head wounds in an attack by two Palestinians armed with axes in the central city of Elad.
Maatuf was working as a security guard at an amusement park set up for celebrations on Independence Day when the attack took place on May 5, 2022.
The terrorists killed Yonatan Havakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben-Yiftach, and left four people seriously wounded, including Maatuf.
Also overnight, the Israel Defense Forces conducted retaliatory strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after Palestinian terrorists fired a rocket towards the Jewish state.
The IDF said that it struck a Hamas weapons manufacturing site and another facility used by the Palestinian terrorist group to produce and store chemicals included in missiles.
The bombing runs came hours after Palestinian terrorists fired one rocket from Gaza at Israel, setting off sirens in the city of Sderot and in Kibbutz Nir Am and the village of Ibim nearby.
The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.
The Magen David Adom emergency service treated a woman in her 50s who fell while running to a bomb shelter in Sderot.
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas reportedly told CIA Director William Burns in Ramallah on Sunday that he could not condemn the recent series of terrorist attacks as doing so would be “political suicide.”