The Jerusalem Post quoted Palestinian media saying that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of using “wild pigs” in an assault on Palestinian lands. Abbas was speaking Friday night at a pro-Palestinian conference in Ramallah.
Although the specific charge was omitted from official PA media, Palestinian outlets quoted him as saying, “Every night, they [Israelis] release wild pigs against us. Why are they doing this to us?” According to the claim, which has surfaced before, the IDF releases the animals to wreak havoc on Palestinian fields, as well as intimidate farmers. Beyond the alleged destruction, the pig is particularly offensive to religious Muslims, as it is considered unclean and forbidden.
Abbas also accused Israel of inventing pretexts to prevent Palestinians from accessing their lands in the West Bank.
He called on Israel to build “bridges of love” rather than “the racist separation fence”. He reiterated his call not to allow matters to escalate into a religious war, but warned Israelis, “not to come close to our holy sites, just as we don’t come near your synagogues.
“The Jews know very well that we seek peace and not war. We want to live as a free people in our land Palestine. We don’t want war and violence. We are opposed to all forms of violence, here and abroad,” he claimed.
Abbas is not alone in accusing Israel of enlisting a zoo into its army. In July of 2013, Turkey caught, examined and ultimately released a falcon it claimed was spying for Israel. In September of that year, Egypt similarly detained a stork for the same reasons. In 2010, Egypt also accused Israel of using GPS-controlled sharks to invade its waters and deter tourism.
An Israeli official called the charge “laughable, if it wasn’t so dangerous.” He went on, “It’s a pity the Palestinian Authority president chooses to propagate such rubbish, and it raises questions about his real position on Israel.” The accusations, he said, “fit into a consistent and ongoing pattern of incitement.”
The following day, Abbas announced to his Fatah party leaders in Ramallah that he intended to advance his bid for Palestinian statehood in the UN Security Council by the end of November.