Abbas is “proud,” “stands in honor” of “heroic” violent Arab rioters “as they defend Jerusalem… and all of Palestine”
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “Jerusalem is a red line. Jerusalem is the heart and soul of Palestine. There will be no peace, stability, or security until it is completely liberated from the occupation and returns to its Palestinian people and its Arab and Islamic nation… We congratulate its residents who are carrying out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict) in it and its blessed surroundings. We congratulate the heroic young people of Palestine who are the pride of the homeland and the people, the pride of the entire nation. We are proud of them and we stand in honor of their struggle as they defend Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and all of Palestine, and especially the Gaza Strip with bare chests, a heart beating with love of Jerusalem and Palestine, and a just affiliation with them.”
Abbas’ reference to “residents who are carrying out Ribat” refers to violent Arab riots in Jerusalem. Abbas gave this speech during the violent Palestinian riots and Hamas’ launching of thousands of rockets against Israel.
Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.