Palestinian Authority (PA) chief negotiator Saeb Erekat made another outrageous claim on Tuesday, likening Israel to the brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization.
“(Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu is trying to disseminate fear of the Islamic State led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but Netanyahu forgets that he himself leads the Jewish state,” Erekat told AFP.
Erekat added “he wants us to call Israel the Jewish state and supports terrorist settlers who kill, destroy and burn mosques and churches… like Baghdadi’s men kill and terrorize.”
In fact Erekat is not the first to make the outlandish comparison. Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh of the communist Hadash party spoke on PA TV recently, claiming the “organization closest to ISIS in Israel is the Israeli government.”
In contrast, Israeli officials have repeatedly compared Hamas, the Islamist group which rules Gaza, to ISIS – as have prominent members of Erekat’s own Palestinian Authority.
Speaking before the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday, Netanyahu once again compared ISIS to Hamas, and criticized PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for his unity government with Hamas given the group’s war crimes in the recent Gaza operation.
Abbas last Friday accused Israel of committing a “war of genocide” in Gaza, but according to Erekat it was Netanyahu who “finally closed the door on progress towards a two-state solution within the 1967 borders and rejected any serious political solution.”
The equation between Israel and ISIS comes following a similarly absurd claim by Erekat on Monday, when he stated that 96% of the deaths in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge were civilians.
Extensive studies have revealed that a full 49% of those killed were in fact terrorists, making an unprecedented 1:1 ratio of civilian to combatant ratios almost unheard of in urban combat.