March 21, 2012 -- New York -- AJC welcomed Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s rejection of terrorism committed ostensibly on behalf of the Palestinian cause, and for his and the Palestinian leadership’s expression of solidarity with the families of the victims of Monday’s anti-Semitic murders in Toulouse, France.
Calling the assault at the Ozar HaTorah school an “attack on innocent lives ... a cowardly terrorist act,” Fayyad today condemned those who would claim to be advancing Palestinian aspirations through terrorism. Three schoolchildren and the father of two of them were shot dead in the Toulouse attack, and another student was grievously wounded.
“Prime Minister Fayyad’s important remarks send a signal to the promoters of hatred and violence in the Middle East and around the world,” said Jason Isaacson, AJC Director of Government and International Affairs. “It is a further – and necessary – rejection of terrorism as a tool to advance political ends.”
The prime suspect identified by French authorities, Mohamed Merah, is reported to have claimed the killings were motivated in part to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children.
In a statement issued today in Ramallah, Fayyad rejected that connection. “It is time for these criminals to stop exploiting the name of Palestine through their terrorist actions, and to stop pretending to stand up for Palestinian children, who only seek a decent life for themselves and for all children of the world,” Fayyad said.
In addition to Fayyad’s comments, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Paris mission issued a statement saying Palestinians “condemn in the strongest possible terms the hateful attack carried out in Toulouse.” The statement added: “We warn against any political exploitation of these events, and wish to assure the families and relatives of victims of our solidarity, and we join them in their pain and their grief.”