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PNA Condemns Hammas Attack On Israeli Civilians

‘Bombings’ Severely Damage Palestinian ‘Just Cause’: Leadership

Abed Rabbo: Attacking Civilians Morally, politically ‘Unjustified’, ‘Unacceptable’

The Palestinian leadership will hold a meeting Wednesday morning at the highest level to discuss measures against the perpetrators of a bombing attack in Jerusalem that claimed twenty lives, which the leadership firmly and strongly condemned. Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas cut off all contacts with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in protest while the PNA blasted the attack against Israeli civilians as morally and politically “unjustified.”

The Palestinian leadership strongly and firmly condemned the bus bombing in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

“The Palestinian leadership, which has always rejected and condemned the targeting of civilians from both sides, announces its strongest condemnation to the Jerusalem bombing against Israeli civilians.”

The leadership stressed that such attacks severely damages the Palestinian “just cause” and are used by the Israeli government as a pretext to avoid implementing the “roadmap.”

The leadership “stresses that these attacks against civilians are causing severe security, political, and international damage to our people and their just cause, and are used by (the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon and his government to reject the ‘roadmap’ and perpetrate more attacks and assassinations against our people,” it said in a statement reported by the official news agency WAFA late Tuesday.

Palestinian leadership called on the United States and the Quartet of the US, the UN, the EU and Russia who drafted and adopted the “roadmap” to quickly intervene to stop the dangerous security and political deterioration, and to send international observers to monitor the implementation of the peace plan.

“The Palestinian leadership, while condemning the Jerusalem attack, calls upon the international community, the US administration, and the Quartet to intervene immediately to stop this security and political deterioration” the leadership’s statement said.

“The leadership has called and still calling for sending international observers and establishing a firm and effective international monitoring to both sides’ implementation of the ‘roadmap’ and to maintain peace and honor the signed agreements,” the statement concluded.

Abbas Cancels Meeting with Hamas, Orders Measures

Similarly, the Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas has decided to break off all contacts with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad after the bus bombing in Jerusalem Tuesday.

A Palestinian official told AFP that Abbas would take unspecified measures against the groups, which he held "responsible for harming the Palestinian national interests.”

After consultations with Palestinian ministers Abbas had decided to "stop all contact and dialogue with Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” the official said.

The military wings of the two groups jointly claimed responsibility for Tuesday evening’s bombing in down town Jerusalem.

Abbas strongly condemned the “terrible” bus bombing in Jerusalem, which came as he was holding talks with Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza on the ceasefire. He quickly called off a session planned for Wednesday with Hamas.

"I strongly condemn this act in Jerusalem,” Abbas told reporters in Gaza.

"It is a terrible act against the Israeli civilians and this is not helping the interests of the Palestinian people.”

Abbas added he had ordered his security minister Mohammed Dahlan to open an inquiry into the incident.

Abbas acted after overnight meetings with security officials in the wake of the blast, which dealt a critical blow to a seven-week-old ceasefire underpinning a US-backed “roadmap” to peace.

"It was decided after these meetings that the Palestinian Authority would stop all forms of dialogue with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. It holds them responsible for harming the higher national interest of the Palestinian people,” a senior security official told Reuters.

"Soon the Palestinian Authority will take security measures against Hamas and Islamic Jihad members,” he added.

Abed Rabbo: Attack Morally and Politically ‘Unjustified’

Separately, the member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestine National Authority (PNA) Minister of Cabinet Affairs Yasser Abed Rabbo said that any justification of the attack is “unacceptable.”

“Any justification of the operation (the bombing in Jerusalem) is unacceptable,” Abed Rabbo told Aljazeera satellite TV station on Wednesday.

“I condemn the attack against civilians morally and politically because it provided the biggest service to Sharon’s policy, which has been looking for pretexts to evade implementing the roadmap,” he said.

Justifying the attack by the continued Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people is “unacceptable,” he said.

“The response to Isreal’s crimes should be through a sole leadership center and a unified decision-making center and not through anarchy that is exploited by Israel,” he indicated.

He held the groups, which announced their responsibility for the Jerusalem bombing responsible also for walking out on Palestinian national consensus and for possible rifts in Palestinian ranks.

Abed Rabbo said the Palestinian leadership was scheduled to hold a meeting “at the highest level” on Wednesday morning to discuss the bombing and the Palestinian government will take measures accordingly.

An Israeli senior government official told AFP after the bombing that Sharon had decided to freeze all contacts with the Palestinians. The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) sealed off Palestinian territories and reinstated the few roadblocks they had removed recently in the West Bank.

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