The Palestinian Authority has rejected calls from a group of US congressmen to fire a Fatah official who praised the killer of an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank, an official said Wednesday.
Five congressmen signed a letter condemning remarks by Fatah central committee member Sultan Abu al-Einein, who also serves as President Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser on civil society organizations.
The letter, according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, denounced al-Einein’s “open support for the murderer of Eviatar Borovsky.” It quoted al-Einein as saying shortly after the killing: “We salute the heroic fighter, the self-sacrificing Salam Al-Zaghal.”
The congressmen urged Abbas to dismiss Abu al-Einein from the government.
The director of al-Einein’s office, Raafat Ulayyan, said that Abbas rejected the calls from the congressmen.
In his letter of reply, Abbas confirmed that Abu al-Einein is an elected leader of the Fatah movement and a Palestinian Authority official, Ulayyan told Ma’an.
He also wrote that “It would have been more appropriate for the Congress to document settler attacks on the Palestinian people, schools and mosques in the West Bank,” Ulayyan said.
The letter added that the Fatah official paid a visit to a Palestinian family and highlighted that Fatah’s political agenda considers resistance within the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 a legitimate right of the Palestinian people. The congressmen had also criticized the visit to the family of the suspected killer.
The congressmen were identified by the JTA as Democrats Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Brad Sherman, and Ted Deutch and Republican Ed Royce.
Their letter said that “allowing this type of incitement and hatemongering to take place within your ranks is intolerable if you are truly dedicated to non-violence. We ask that you publicly and officially denounce and condemn Mr. Al-Einein’s remarks at once and remove him from his position in your government.”