RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday criticized U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman for his support of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, calling the envoy a “son of a dog.”
Friedman is a strong supporter of Israel’s settler movement, and was an early and enthusiastic advocate of President Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there.
“Son of a dog,” Abbas said of Friedman in a speech to a Palestinian leadership summit in the West Bank city of Ramallah. “They [the settlers] are building on their land? You are a settler and your family are settlers.”
Friedman responded to Abbas’s slur during a speech to a conference on combating global anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, saying: “His response was to refer to me as son of a dog. Anti-semitism or political discourse? Not for me to judge, I leave that all up to you.”
Abbas also blamed the Islamist Hamas group for a bomb attack on the convoy of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza, and threatened to end reconciliation efforts with his bitter rivals.
Abbas warned Hamas that it would have to give up control of Gaza or risk taking full responsibility for the enclave and its two million residents without any help from his western-backed Palestinian Authority.
The rancor between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction has escalated since Hamdallah and Palestinian security chief Majid Faraj’s convoy was attacked by a roadside bomb on March 13. They were uninjured.
“We do not want investigation from them, we do not want information from them and we do not want anything from them because we know exactly that they, the Hamas movement, ware the ones who committed this incident,” he said.