Unconfirmed reports suggested the explosion was the result of a missile strike from the sea. And social media exploded with posts alleging that Israel was responsible
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that there would be no agreement with Israel as long as even one Palestinian remained in Israeli prison.
Abbas was speaking during a reception at the Mukata presidential compound in Ramallah for Palestinians released from Israeli prison.
After hugging and kissing each one of the freed prisoners, Abbas vowed to pursue his efforts to secure the release of all inmates.“We welcome and salute our veteran heroes who were behind bars and have now entered the world of freedom,” Abbas told the released prisoners and their families.
Abbas strongly denied that he had agreed to continued construction in the settlements in return for the release of prisoners.
He said that “unpatriotic” people were behind the rumors about a “prisoner-for-settlement” deal.
“Settlement is null and void,” Abbas said.
The PA condemned the Israeli government’s decision to build new housing units in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Israel, meanwhile, was angered and concerned by the celebrations that greeted the freed terrorists in Ramallah.
“Every time we see the celebrations in Ramallah for people who are guilty of the most heinous crimes against innocent people – civilians, the elderly and children – this is problematic and always raises questions about whether the Palestinians have really turned the corner,” Mark Regev, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, said, pointing out that the Palestinians had committed themselves under the Oslo accords to no more terrorism.
“But instead of condemning terrorism, they are celebrating terrorists,” Regev stated. “I would ask the Palestinians what message they are sending to us when they celebrate their murderers, when they put them on a pedestal. And what is the message they are sending to Palestinian youth if they turn these people into heroes?”