Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stated that the Palestinian terrorist who shot Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick would reach heaven as a martyr.
In a condolence letter sent to the family of Mu’taz Ibrahim Hijazi on Saturday, Abbas wrote, “With anger, we have received the news of the vicious assassination crime committed by the terrorists of the Israeli occupation army against [your] son Mu’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who will go to heaven as a martyr defending the rights of our people and its holy places.”
The president expressed his “sincere condolences” and wrote on Palestinian rights to the land of Israel.
Abbas added that the “barbaric” operation which killed Hijazi “joins all of the crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people since the Nakba and the historic injustice that accompanies it since then.”
Glick, who had just finished speaking at a conference on the right of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, was shot in the chest and abdomen several times by Hijazi, an Islamic Jihad terrorist. Hijazi was arrested in 2000 for terrorism related charges. He spent 11 years in prison.
Hijazi approached Flick outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem on the night of October 29. Witnesses say that Hijazi asked Glick to confirm his identity. Upon doing so he was shot.
Hijazi fled the scene on his motorcycle. He was later killed in a shootout with Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem who were attempted to arrest Hijazi.
Abbas’s letter was condemned Sunday night by Israeli Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu.
“While we’re trying to calm tempers, Abu Mazen [Abbas] sends a condolence letter for the death of someone who attempted to commit a despicable murder. It’s time the international community condemn him for such deeds,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
In a statement on Facebook, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman wrote that the letter “testifies more than anything else to the fact that Abu Mazen is indeed a partner: a partner for terror, a partner to terrorists, a partner of murderers.”
The letter indicates Abbas’s “open support for terror and encouragement of further murders,” Liberman added.