On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen released a statement which extended his first official condolences of the Shoah. Unlike prior Palestinian leaders (namely Yasser Arafat) who would say moderate things in English translation but would be undaunted anti-semitic in the Arabic original, Abbas' statement was released in both English and Arabic.
This statement is in stark contrast to his doctrinal thesis from Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow later published as The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism (1984) in which he claimed: the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed” and claimed that only some 890,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis. Moreover these were chiefly the victims of a Zionist-Nazi plot in the Havaara Agrement (1933) to facilitate German emigration to the Palestine Mandate. Such a theory contributes to the fever swamp frenzy of Holocaust deniers. Abbas had backtracked from this thesis in 2011 when he asserted that he could accept that six million people were killed during the Holocaust.
Abbas' conciliatory statements are not being welcomed with open arms by the Israeli government. As Abbas reiterated his Holocaust condolence statement, Abbas' ruling Palestinian Fatah party (which prevails in the West Bank) made a rapprochement with Hamas, the terror organization which is based in the exclave Gaza Strip.
As Hamas is still dedicated in its charter to the destruction of Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet unanimously decided to break off negotiations with a Palestinian government which incorporates Hamas. In addition, Israel is planning to impose economic sanctions against the Palestinian Authority by withholding tax revenue collected by Israel on behalf of the PA.