President Donald Trump reportedly was so angered by Palestinian duplicity that he shouted at President Mahmoud Abbas during last week’s meeting in Beit Lechem, “You lied to me in Washington when you talked about commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me you were personally responsible for incitement.” The story, carried on Israel’s Channel 2 Sunday evening, attributed the quote to Israeli and U.S. sources. Channel 2 reported the quotes in Hebrew.
The presidential outburst was followed by a prolonged, shocked silence from the Palestinians, and it was said to take several minutes to put aside the tension and resume discussion.
Palestinian sources denied the report, saying the meeting was good and to the point.
The cordial joint conference held by Trump and Abbas, in which the latter reaffirmed his commitment to fighting terrorism, belied a stormy confrontation behind closed doors.
During his meeting at the White House in March, Abbas said that he was all for peace and that the PA was not behind incitement to violence against Israel.
After the Washington meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had challenged Abbas’s statements, saying;
“I heard President Abbas yesterday say that the Palestinians teach their children peace. Unfortunately, that’s not true. They name their schools after mass murderers of Israelis and they pay terrorists.”
In remarks following the Beit Lechem meeting, Trump reiterated that terror must not be “rewarded,” a clear rebuke of the PA’s payments to families of imprisoned or killed terrorists.