New Reason for PA Rioting: Longtime Terror Prisoner Dies of Cancer

Arab rioters clash with Israeli security forces at demonstrations near the Hawara checkpoint, south of Shechem. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

As the Palestinian Authority called for a “day of rage” to protest the change of policy by the United States over the legality of Israeli communities in Yehudah and Shomron, the PA again issued a call for Arabs to riot Tuesday – this time over the death of a terrorist who was being treated in an Israeli hospital.

The terrorist, Sami Abu Diak, was convicted in 2002 of carrying out a terror attack in the Jenin area that led to the deaths of three Arabs who were cooperating with Israel. He was given three life sentences in prison, but was transferred to a hospital four years ago after he was found to be suffering from cancer.

It wasn’t the cancer that got him – it was the Israelis, who killed him, using the cancer as an excuse to execute him, the PA said Tuesday. PA terror groups expressed rage over the “latest Israeli war crime,” and demanded that PA Arabs come out in droves to confront the IDF and Israeli security forces. “There must be mass rallies in all cities, to protest the Israeli-American conspiracies against us,” the PA’s Ministry of Prisoners said.

“The rallies should be in the name of the latest martyr, whose death is the result of Israel’s deliberate ‘medical murder’ policy,” the Ministry said.

The original focus of the PA’s latest “day of rage” Tuesday was the comments made last week by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who reversed a policy that had been proclaimed by the State Department decades ago. He said that the U.S. would no longer view Jewish towns in Yehudah and Shomron as illegal. “Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” Pompeo said. “The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace. The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

As of Tuesday morning, there were no reports of significant riots or other forms of group protest, but security officials were not relaxing. In order to ensure that crowds do not gather, school will end at 11:30 a.m. in PA-controlled areas, and several business groups called on business owners to either end their workday early or not open altogether.

Yediot Acharonot quoted a PA official as saying that “if these demonstrations end with Palestinians killed, tensions will rise and the security situation may deteriorate.”

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