Abbas Displays Anti-Israel Cartoon While Recovering in Hospital

Cartoon in official Palestinian Authority newspaper depicts Israeli soldiers as child murderers

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reads newspaper / Twitter
May 22, 2018

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared in photographs this week in which he prominently displays a cartoon depicting Israeli soldiers as child murderers.

The PA published photographs of Abbas, who has been hospitalized over the past week, to dispel rumors about his failing health. In one photograph, Abbas is reading Al-Hayat Al-Jadid, the PA's official newspaper, which published the cartoon, according to Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva. Abbas can be seen presenting the cartoon to the camera.

A spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted the photo of Abbas, writing that the illustration is "reminiscent of Nazi cartoons."

The cartoon, created by Arab cartoonist Muhammed Sabaaneh, portrays an Israeli soldier taking a milk bottle from a baby and replacing the bottle with poison. The illustration alludes to the death of eight-month-old Laila al-Ghandour, who was brought to violent Palestinian demonstrations at the Israel-Gaza border last week and died.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry and several Western media outlets blamed Israel for the baby's death, claiming she died from inhaling Israeli tear gas used to disperse the Palestinian riots. However, a doctor in Gaza told the Associated Press that the baby "had a pre-existing medical condition and that he did not believe her death was caused by tear gas."

Abbas, 82, underwent surgery on his left ear at Istishari Hospital in Ramallah, West Bank last Tuesday. He returned to the same hospital on Saturday night and Sunday for further tests, and Palestinian officials now say he is suffering from pneumonia.

"The president had a high fever, but after doctors gave him antibiotics intravenously, it went down and his condition stabilized," one official told the Jerusalem Post on Monday. "I hope that he will be released from the hospital in the next day or two."