JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Shimon Peres a “brave” partner for peace in a condolence letter sent to his family.
“Peres was a partner in making the peace of the brave with the martyr Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister (Yitzhak) Rabin, and made unremitting efforts to reach a lasting peace from the Oslo agreement until the final moments of his life,” the letter says, according to the Palestinian Wafa news agency.
Abbas also tweeted in Arabic that “Shimon Peres’ death is a heavy loss for all humanity and for peace in the region,” The Times of Israel reported.
It was not clear on Wednesday afternoon whether a Palestinian delegation would attend Peres’ funeral. Peres died early Wednesday morning, two weeks after suffering a serious stroke, at 93.
Palestinian sources told Israel Radio that Palestinian officials would not decide to attend unless invited by the family.
Hamas, the terrorist group that runs the Gaza Strip, was pleased by Peres’ death.
“The Palestinian people are very happy at the passing of this criminal who caused their blood to shed,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told The Associated Press.
“Shimon Peres was the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation,” he said, “and his death is the end of a phase in the history of this occupation and the beginning of a new phase of weakness.”