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Palestinian official likens Daesh terror attacks to Israel atrocities

Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Paris, France, on July 30, 2016. ©AFP

A senior Palestinian official has drawn parallels between recent Daesh-claimed terror attacks in Europe and Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

“Those who murder children in Europe in the name of religion are no different than those who murder children on Palestinian land,” said Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat.

He made the comments at a press conference following a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris on Saturday.

A string of violent attacks have struck Europe in recent weeks. The Daesh terror group has claimed responsibility for a number of them, including the July 14 Bastille Day attack in the southern French city of Nice, where a driver plowed through a crowd, killing 84 people and wounding 200 others.

Palestinian officials had earlier angered Israel by comparing the regime to Nazi Germany.

In April, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, made such a comparison, criticizing Israel for branding all the Palestinians who oppose its policies as “terrorists.”

The developments come amid heightened tensions between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters. The Israeli military has killed over 220 Palestinians since last October.

Palestinian Muslim worshipers perform Friday prayers on July 29, 2016 in the occupied West Bank village of Qalandia, next to the rubble of homes destroyed by Israeli forces. ©AFP

Elsewhere, Erekat also described the meeting between Abbas and Kerry as “very constructive.”

He also said that any renewal of long-stalled Palestinian-Israeli negotiations requires a complete cessation of Israel’s settlement expansion activities in the occupied territories, and the release of a group of Palestinians in Israeli detention facilities.

He said the Palestinian president told the top US diplomat that the Palestinians were demanding a timetable for re-launching the talks and another for implementing potential agreements, as well as international supervision.

“We need a timetable for restarting negotiations, a timetable for implementing agreements and an international framework to oversee any future agreements,” Erekat said.

Tel Aviv formally suspended the talks with the Palestinian Authority in April 2014 after Abbas forged a unity pact with the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, which is based in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Israel responded to the unity pact by announcing tenders for the building of 4,800 illegal settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Different Palestinian factions are divided over the resumption of the so-called peace talks with Israel, which will be based on a French initiative.

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