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

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.