Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said Sunday that absence of a Palestinian Authority condemnation of the murder of an IDF soldier at the hand of a Palestinian man over the weekend proves that the Palestinian leadership has no intention of making peace with Israel.
Three days after 20-year-old Tomer Hazan was lured to the West Bank by a Palestinian co-worker and subsequently murdered, Lieberman condemned the Palestinian Authority on his Facebook page, saying "the fact that the Palestinian Authority hasn't issued a clear condemnation of the murder proves once again that the current negotiations the Palestinians are conducting with Israel is, for them, merely a tactical move solely aimed at improving their international standing."
"The killer, Nidal Amar, comes from a family that has long been affiliated with Fatah, and several months ago, Palestinian television even aired a favorable segment about his terrorist brother, whom Amar had hoped to free from Israeli jail in exchange for the soldier he abducted. There were photos of [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat hanging at the entrance to the family home," Lieberman wrote.
"They continue to encourage and support the murder of Israelis," Lieberman stated.
Meanwhile, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon also accused the Palestinian Authority, saying that "this cruel murder is a result of ongoing incitement on behalf of the Palestinian leadership."
"Abbas provides a tailwind for these horrendous acts, when, after making festive declarations at negotiations currently underway, he continues to pay grants to killers in prisons. Twenty years after Oslo, the Palestinians have yet to abandon the path of terror," Danon remarked.
Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) also issued a response, telling Army Radio on Sunday that the incident proves that the Palestinians are not a partner for peace.
"Twenty years after the Oslo Accords, our partner has not changed. The murder, which was supposed to [serve as a bargaining chip to secure the] release of a Fatah terrorist -- a soldier loyal to Abbas -- demonstrates to us once again who our partner is. You don't make peace with terrorists who throw soldiers' bodies into wells. You fight them mercilessly," Bennett said.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel echoed Bennett's sentiments, saying that "the State of Israel's absurd dance of releasing terrorists continues to harm the security of Israel, now that terrorists have learned that we no longer have any red lines. I demand an immediate halt to all planned prisoner releases, which don't bring us closer to peace but rather perpetuate the unnecessary bloodshed that we witnessed today."
On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a condolence letter to the Hazan family, in which he wrote: "the anguish of losing a son is terrible. The people of Israel share your pain."
In his letter, Netanyahu noted that Hazan's murder serves as a testimony to the terror Israel still faces. "The heinous incident proves yet again that the battle against terrorism is unrelenting and the war against it will continue, with all the available means."
Overnight, U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry also condemned the murder.
He urged calm on both sides, describing it as "all the more important at this critical moment in the political process."
In a suspected response to the Hazan's murder, right-wing activists slashed tires and spray painted vehicles in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem on Sunday morning.
The words "price tag" were sprayed on one of the vehicles, signifying that the vandalism was meant as a form of revenge. Police have launched an investigation into the incident.