Palestinian President Abbas criticises Iran's Khamenei over praise for Hamas attacks

Mahmoud Abbas says Iranian supreme leader's praise of October 7 attacks despite impact on Gaza shows 'their goal is to sacrifice the blood of Palestinians'

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, addresses the crowd during a ceremony marking the 35th death anniversary of his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran on Monday. AFP
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a sharp response to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who lauded Hamas's October 7 attacks on Israel.

In a statement, Mr Abbas said the Palestinian people are the ones who have paid the price of Israel's war on Gaza, which it launched in retaliation for the attacks in October.

"They are the first to be affected by this war [on Gaza], which has shed their blood and which has resulted in the death of more than 36,000 martyrs, and wounded 83,000 others, as well as the destruction of infrastructure as hospitals, schools, mosques, churches and the displacement of thousands of citizens and extermination of hundreds of families," he said.

Mr Khamenei on Monday said the October 7 attacks were "necessary for the region" and described them as "a huge blow to Israel".

Mr Khamenei, who was speaking at an event to commemorate his predecessor as supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, predicted the fall of what he referred to as the "Zionist regime" and said the Hamas-led attacks "destroyed the plans of the enemy."

Tehran supports Hamas as part of its so-called Axis of Resistance, a coalition of Iran-led groups including Hezbollah in Lebanon that is opposed to the US and Israel in the Middle East.

Mr Abbas had previously criticised Hamas for its attack on October 7 and his ruling party Fatah has accused Iran of "instigating chaos" in the occupied territories through its support for Hamas and movements such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which are rivals of Fatah.

He said comments such as Mr Khamenei's "clearly announce that their goal is to sacrifice the blood of Palestinians and thousands of children, women and the elderly, and to destroy Palestinian land".

He also said policies such as the ones expressed by the Iranian leader, "do not serve the Palestinian national goals of liberating Jerusalem".

Mr Abbas again highlighted that the US has repeatedly vetoed UN decisions aiming to bring Palestinians some of their legitimate rights, and that successive US administrations have tried to "remove Jerusalem from the equation" while continuing to "provide weapons and money" to prop up the Israeli occupation.

Updated: June 04, 2024, 6:43 AM