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Abbas defends his visit with released Palestinian terrorist in Turkey

“President Mahmoud Abbas stressed once again the need to freeze Israeli settlement on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, in an interview broadcast last night by Israel TV Channel 2…
The Israeli interviewer pulled out a photograph of the President with released prisoner Amna Muna, [taken] during his meeting [with her] in Turkey. [The interviewer] showed it on the screen, and said accusingly, ‘You met with Amna Muna, a terrorist who killed a Jewish boy.’
However, the President’s response was proud and strong. He held the photograph and said: ‘Amna Muna is a Palestinian citizen, she belongs to the Fatah movement, she resisted the occupation, and Israel released her after punishing her. She remains a woman, a Palestinian woman, and a human being, and I am her president. You pardon her, but I can’t meet with her?’
The President emphasized that there are many Israelis who committed crimes against his closest friends, pointing out that peace involves forgetting the past, and an effort to make peace actually happen.
[Concerning Amna Muna] he said: ‘Yes, I did meet with her, and I will meet with her. She is a Palestinian woman, from the Fatah movement, who carried out an operation (i.e., terrorist attack) against you, and you pardoned her in the Shalit [prisoners] exchange. How can you want me not to meet with her? Yes, I will certainly meet with her, and I will meet with any prisoner who is released. I am the President of the Palestinian people, and these are Palestinians.’
The interviewer did not like the President’s response, and he said: ‘But she killed a young boy.’
President Abbas replied: ‘In war, terrible things happen. You have leaders who killed Palestinian people, and who killed my closest friends, and you send them to sit with me and negotiate. How do you view that?’”

Note: Amna Muna was serving a life sentence for participating in the kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Israeli Ofir Rahum on Jan. 17, 2001. Muna used the internet to get Rahum to agree to meet her, then drove him to Ramallah where he was murdered by two accomplices. In October 2011, Muna was released as part of the Shalit prisoner exchange deal brokered between the Israeli government and Hamas. In that deal, Israel released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than 5 years.

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