Abbas retracts rabbis 'water poisoning' comment

Palestinian leader admits his claims at the EU were baseless but rejects "blood libel" claim of the Israeli PM.

    Abbas retracts rabbis 'water poisoning' comment
    Abbas said he did not intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world [Al Jazeera]

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has retracted comments he made this week about an alleged plot by rabbis calling on Jewish settlers to poison the drinking water of Palestinians.

    Abbas' office acknowledged on Saturday that his comments were "baseless", adding he "didn't intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world."

    In a speech to the European Union in Brussels on Thursday, Abbas made claims of a plot to poison Palestinian wells, sparking accusations of anti-Semitism.

    Shortage forces Palestinians to resort to water rationing

    Abbas' speech, denouncing Israel for stalling the peace talks, received a standing ovation from European politicians, but his allegation about the water poisoning drew strong condemnation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Netanyahu said Abbas showed his "true face" by spreading such a "blood libel" and called on him to cease inciting against Israel.

    For Jews, allegations of water poisoning strike a bitter chord.

    In the 14th century, Jews were accused of deliberately poisoning wells that caused plague across Europe.

    Another allegation from the Middle Ages -- that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood for ritual purposes -- gave rise to the term "blood libel".

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.