Leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has hailed two terrorists as “martyrs” after being killed in a shootout with Israeli forces in Nablus on 23 July.
“We are all mourning. That is our destiny and we can’t escape it. We must make sacrifices for the homeland,” Abbas told the fathers of the deceased in a phone call, Channel 12 reported. “Your son[s] will reach heaven together with the other martyrs,” he added.
Mahmoud Abbas is often portrayed by the West to a moderate Palestinian leader (President Biden met with him two weeks ago), but his comments made on Sunday are more typical of the Islamist narrative often declared by Palestinian terrorists.
The Palestinian gunmen were killed during a battle that erupted during an Israeli counter-terror raid, Israel Police said. The casualties were identified by the P.A.’s official WAFA news agency as Mohammad Bashar Azizi, 25, and Abderrahman Jamal Soboh, 28.
The main target of the raid, Ibrahim Nabulsi, a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, managed to escape, and was later seen at the funerals of the two dead gunmen, according to Channel 12.
Israeli media reported on Monday that the terror cell targeted in the Nablus raid had been planning additional attacks.