Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas chaired an “emergency” leadership meeting in Ramallah on Saturday after the Hamas terrorist group launched a major attack from the Gaza Strip that killed at least 250 Israelis.
Abbas “gave instructions to provide protection for the Palestinian people, stressing the right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves against the terrorism of settlers and the occupation forces,” according to the official P.A. Wafa news agency.
“He also gave directions to provide all that is necessary to bolster the resilience and steadfastness of the Palestinian people in facing the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation and settler gangs,” added the report.
Amid the carnage in Israel, the P.A. Foreign Ministry released a statement blaming the Jewish state for Hamas terrorism.
“Israel’s disavowal of the signed agreements and noncompliance with international legitimacy resolutions led to the destruction of the peace process and the absence of a solution to the Palestinian issue after 75 years of suffering and displacement,” said the ministry.
“The continuation of the policy of double standards, the silence of the international community regarding the criminal and racist practices of the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people, and the continuation of the injustice and oppression that the Palestinian people endure is the reason behind the explosive situation and the absence of peace and security in the region,” it continued.
“Peace requires justice, freedom and independence for our Palestinian people, the return of refugees, and the full implementation of international legitimacy resolutions,” added the ministry.
Palestinians throughout Judea and Samaria celebrated the massacre of dozens of Israelis, with many handing out candy to children.
Earlier Saturday, a shadowy Hamas commander who has long been in Israel’s crosshairs called for Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East to “set the Earth on fire under the feet of the occupiers [Israel].”
Mohammed Deif released an audio message in which he dubbed Hamas’s multi-pronged attack “Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge” and called to “expel the occupiers and demolish the walls” of the Jewish state.
He also urged the “Islamic resistance in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon” to “merge their resistance with that of the Palestinians” and “start marching toward Palestine.”
Deif has commanded the Al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza since the 1990s and orchestrated a series of terrorist attacks on Israelis. He also oversaw Hamas’s armament program, its tunnel project, and attempts to kidnap Israelis and use them as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian security prisoners.
The United States on Saturday condemned Hamas’s multi-pronged offensive.
“Sickened by the images coming out of southern Israel of dead and wounded civilians at the hands of terrorists from Gaza. The United States stands with Israel,” said acting U.S. Ambassador in Jerusalem Stephanie Hallett.
“I condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians. I am in contact with Israeli officials, and fully support Israel’s right to defend itself from such terrorist acts,” she said.