After Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was embarrassingly called out on his false claim that Israel had “executed” an Arab child for no reason in Jerusalem, the Palestine Liberation Organization he chairs has tried to engage in some emergency damage control – by retroactively rewriting the speech he gave Wednesday night.
Abbas had accused Israel of “executing in cold blood” 13-year-old Ahmed Mansara, in a speech broadcast live last night on Palestinian Authority TV.
“We will not give up to the logic of brute force, policies of occupation and aggression practiced by the Israeli government and the herd of settlers who are engaged in terrorism against our people, our holy places, our homes, our trees and executing our children in cold blood as they did with the child Ahmed Manasra and other children from Jerusalem,” Abbas said.
Israeli officials – including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office – immediately slammed the comments as “lies” and “incitement.” Mansara is, in fact, very much alive, and far from being an innocent victim he is currently in police custody at an Israeli hospital, having been injured in the course of carrying out a vicious knife attack which left two people severely wounded, including a 13-year-old Jewish boy left fighting for his life with multiple stab wounds.
His cousin Mahmoud was killed by Israeli police after refusing to put down his weapon and instead charging at officers. The entire attack was recorded on CCTV cameras, and footage was released by police shortly after,
As criticism and derision has accumulated over Abbas’s comments, the PLO released a revised translation of the speech, switching “executing our children in cold blood” to “shooting our children” – despite that not being at all what he said at the time.
But aside from the continued lack of context to the “shooting”, another more basic problem remains: Ahmed Mansara wasn’t shot either – he was struck by a passing car as he and his cousin tore through the streets of Pisgat Ze’ev armed with massive knives.
It is unclear whether the PLO will be rewriting history again, to account for this new discrepancy.