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Palestinian President Abbas Walks Back Criticism of Hamas Terror Group

Mahmoud Abbas (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
October 16, 2023

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, appears to have walked back his condemnation of Hamas for its terror attack against Israel.

Wafa, an official mouthpiece of the Palestinian Authority, on Sunday reported that Abbas told Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro that Hamas’s actions "do not represent the Palestinian people," and that the organization he leads, the Palestine Liberation Organization, is the sole representative body of the Palestinians.

Wafa has since removed the reference to Hamas from the report, the Times of Israel reportedsuggesting the Palestinian Authority has walked back its condemnation of the terrorist group that killed more than 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, last week.

Abbas last week had condemned Hamas's attack. He made the comments during a visit to Jordan on October 12.

"We reject the practices of killing civilians or abusing them on both sides because they contravene morals, religion and international law," Wafa quoted Abbas as saying that day.

Abbas said the Palestinian Authority, which has limited control over the West Bank and has long been opposed to Hamas, stands against violence and would pursue political action to achieve its goals.

Abbas last month was condemned by U.S. and European Union leaders for justifying the Holocaust.