Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas awards Star of Honour to top terrorist
Abbas risks souring relations with Washington just days after John Kerry left the region
The leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas has courted fresh controversy by again honouring a leading terrorist, watchdog organisation Palestinian Media Watch is reporting on Wednesday.
In a ceremony broadcast on Palestinian television and also posted on Abbas's Yuutube channel, Nayef Hawatmeh, the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) was awarded the Star of Honour, in recognition, a Palestinian official present at the ceremeny said, for:
"...his important national role in service of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people, and in recognition of his efforts to raise the flag of Palestine since the launch of the Palestinian revolution, through the stages of the ongoing struggle".
The move will cause consternation in Washington, where Congress has long criticised the Palestinian Authority over incitiment and the glorification of terrorists. The Obama administration is unlikely to be much happier as this comes just days after Secretary of State John Kerry left the region saying he was positive about the prospects for peace.
Hardliners in Israel are certain to seize upon the move.
According to Palestinian Media Watch:
"The DFLP has carried out many deadly terror attacks, including the killing of 22 schoolchildren and 4 adults after taking them hostage in Ma'alot, the killing of 9 children and 3 adults in an attack on a school bus, the killing of 7 in a Jerusalem bombing, the killing of 4 hostages in an apartment building in Beit Shean, all of which took place in the 1970's.
"In addition, the DFLP has participated in and claimed responsibility for dozens of other terror attacks, including a suicide bombing near Tel Aviv that killed 4 in 2003."
Abbas, widely billed as a moderate, has a long track record of honouring terrorists. Palestinian Media Watch related the following instances in the last six months alone:
Dec. 2012, Abbas honoured 6 terrorists responsible for killing hundreds of Israelis and two American diplomats
Jan. 2013, Abbas pledged to follow path of 15 terrorists responsible for killing hundreds
March 2013, Abbas honoured murderer of 2 students
April 2013, Abbas honored planner of attacks that killed dozens
May 2013, Abbas refused to condemn or dismiss his advisor who glorified murderer, as requested by 5 members of US Congress
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