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Netanyahu greets Abbas for holiday

Aug. 19, 2012 at 9:18 AM

JERUSALEM, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu conveyed holiday greetings to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli officials said.

Netanyahu spoke to Abbas on Saturday night, the eve of the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. During the conversation, Netanyahu pledged to hunt down the perpetrators of a firebomb attack near Bethlehem Thursday night in which six Palestinians, including four family members, were injured, Netanyahu's office said.

The attack was condemned by Netanyahu and other top security officials, the Hebrew language daily Maariv said.

On Friday, Abbas demanded Israel "stop these barbaric and despicable attacks." In an interview with a local radio station in Ramallah, Abbas said "these attacks are taking place under the eye of the Israeli army, which is not doing anything to stop them," The Jerusalem Post quoted him saying.

The victims of the attack are from a village near Bethlehem and were traveling to do shopping before the holiday when a firebomb was thrown at the taxi they were in causing it to overturn. The injured were evacuated to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

That same night, Israeli youths in Jerusalem allegedly beat an Arab man who was hospitalized in critical condition. Police have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli suspected in the attack, The Post said.

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