Palestinian leaders’ endorsement of violence and “martyrdom” was on full display during at least three events in recent weeks, including a parade in which members of Fatah — the party led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — wore mock suicide bombing belts and brandished knives.
Footage from a parade in Ramallah celebrating Fatah’s 52nd anniversary, which was broadcast on January 8 and compiled by Palestinian Media Watch, showed masked Fatah members wearing mock suicide belts, complete with replica detonators. According to PMW, “other masked men marched with raised knives, Fatah flags, and posters of Mahmoud Abbas.”
During last year’s celebrations, PMW reported that Fatah paraded Palestinian children with mock suicide belts, guns, and RPGs.
At a separate event commemorating Martyrs’ Day in Ramallah earlier this month, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah praised terrorists as “Martyr’s of Palestine.”
On behalf of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and on my behalf, I salute the Martyrs of Palestine, defenders of our land and our comprehensive national identity, defenders of the homeland and the cause, whose giving constitutes the compass of the activity and the roadmap for bringing our national project to its inevitable fate – the end of the occupation of all of our land, the release of all of the prisoners, and the establishment of the independent State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, in the 1967 borders. We remember all of our righteous Martyrs who paved the path to freedom, independence, and the state with their sacrifice and struggle.
During a Martyr’s Day event in the Gaza Strip, PLO executive committee member Zakaria Al-Agha similarly praised all “martyrs” who employed “their pure bodies” to advance the Palestinian cause.
We must send our blessings to the souls of our Martyrs who followed the path of freedom and with their pure bodies created bridges upon which we cross toward free and independent Palestine, whose capital is Jerusalem. Today we remember the leading Martyrs. We remember these great leaders and repeat our promise to be loyal to their memory and the memory of all of the Martyrs of Palestine and the Martyrs of the Arab nation. We will continue to follow their path, the path of the struggle and the revolution. We will never renounce the principles for which they died as Martyrs.
Al-Agha’s sentiments were later echoed by Ma’moun Abu Shahla, the PA’s minister of labor, who said in a speech broadcast by official Palestinian television on January 8: “We bow our heads before the souls of these Martyrs who with their pure blood recorded magnificent pages in the history of the defense of our holy land.”
These events further demonstrate, PMW observed, “that contrary to PA and Fatah leaders’ rejection of violence in its messaging to the international community, their message to their own population in Arabic endorse violence and terror against Israel.”
Earlier this month, Abbas posed for a picture with a boy who held a photo of Dalal Mughrabi, a Fatah terrorist who led a 1978 massacre of 38 Israelis, including 13 children.
David Gerstman, associate editor of The Tower, wrote in December that high-ranking Palestinian officials engaged in incitement throughout 2016, noting:
The Palestinian Authority has been obligated to fight both terrorism and violent incitement since it agreed to the Oslo Accords in 1993. But it has failed to seriously address either issue over the past 23 years, and instead has often engaged in or encouraged them. Shalem College Provost Dan Polisar observed last year in Mosaic Magazine that numerous public opinion surveys reveal the extent to which “Palestinian perpetrators of violence reflect and are acting on the basis of views widely held in their society.” An April poll found that 60 percent of Palestinians now approve of “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel,” likely in no small part due to the rhetoric of Palestinian leaders.
[Photo: Palwatch / YouTube ]