Netanyahu, Lieberman, Bennett Blame Abbas for Tel Aviv Bus Attack

Right-wing leaders say Palestinian incitement behind attack; Netanyahu: The same terror tries to hurt us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere; Herzog claims Israeli citizens lack security nationwide.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Palestinian Authority for Wednesday's stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv bus, saying the attack was a "direct result of the Palestinian Authority's venomous incitement against the Jews and their state. The same terror tries to hurt us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere."

12 Israelis were wounded in a stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv bus on Wednesday morning, three of them seriously. The assailant, a 23-year-old West Bank Palestinian, had entered Israel illegally. He is now in custody.

"Hamas, Abbas's partners in unity government, hurried to welcome this act - the same Hamas that announced it will sue Israel in the ICC," Netanyahu added.

"Abbas is responsible for both the dangerous incitement and the Hague tribunal."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman similarly placed blame for the attack on the Palestinian and Israeli Arab leadership.

An Israeli police officer secures the scene after a stabbing in Tel Aviv, January 21, 2015.Credit: AP

"Those behind the Tel Aviv attack stand behind Rahat riots and Jerusalem attacks: Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], [Ismail] Haniyeh, Raed Saleh, Haneen Zoabi, Ahmed Tibi and their partners. It's all part of the same process of undermining Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state."

Lieberman was referring to the recent riots in the Negev town of Rahat, where about 200 young men burned tires and threw them at police after a Bedoin youth was killed by police during a drug arrest, possibly by illegal fire.

"It doesn't matter to them if it's Judea and Samaria, the Negev, the Galilee, Tel Aviv or Jerusalem - it is all part of the same branch which aims to eliminate the Jewish state," Lieberman added.

Naftali Bennett echoed Lieberman's statements, placing responsibility for the Tel Aviv bus stabbing on Abbas, too.

"The man responsible for Tel Aviv attack is same person marching with world leaders in Paris last week," Bennett said. "When Abbas incites day and night against the Jews on television, when he glofiries and gives cash prizes to murderers of Jews," Bennett added, "he makes himself the dealer of knives, and the terrorists are just his agents."

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said the attack "sprouted forth from incitement toward Israel," adding that "the fight against terror demands an uncompromising determination and a firm hand against terror's perpetrators and sponsors."

Ya'alon praised the officers and citizens who responded at the scene, adding that "we will not allow anyone to disrupt the lives of our citizens."

Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog condemned the attack, but stopped of laying blame. "We will not accept a situation in which Israeli citizens cannot safely travel on public transportation," he said.

Herzog added that "there is no sense of security for Israeli citizens - not in Jerusalem, Gaza, Tel Aviv."

Meanwhile, Izzat al-Risheq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, described the attack as a "heroic act."

"The attack carried out this morning is a bold, heroic act and a natural response to the crimes of the occupation and terrorism against the Palestinian people," he wrote on his Facebook page.

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