A Palestinian media group produced a video re-enacting a grisly terrorist attack that claimed the lives of four people and wounded 16 others in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
The video, titled “Hard Work Pays Off,” depicts a man breaking his Ramadan fast before donning a suit, disguising himself as an Orthodox Jew and, along with an accomplice, gunning down passersby in the street. A fallen victim is shown wearing a Jewish skullcap. The killers are then shot themselves, with one raising his finger to the sky, as though in prayer.
The attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market was carried out by two Palestinian gunmen in suits, and initial reports indicated that the pair was disguised as Orthodox Jews. Israel police spokeswoman Luba Samri later dismissed those reports.
The video was posted online on Thursday, the same day that Ido Ben Ari, 42, was buried after being gunned down in front of his wife and two children in Sarona. Three other victims of the attack — Mila Mishayev, 32; Michael Feige, 58; and Ilana Naveh, 39 — were laid to rest on Friday. Sixteen others were wounded in the attack.
The group that produced the clip, Sling Media, calls itself the media arm of the Palestinian resistance. The video has already been viewed 26,000 times on their Facebook page. A second video, released by Sling on the day of the attack, features a Quran, an AK-47, and a scarf decorated with an image of the Dome of the Rock and a map of Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, all depicted as one territory.
Hamas, which praised but did not take credit for the attack, justified the killings by claiming that Israel is desecrating the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is near the dome. The terrorist group did not specify what alleged Israeli violations occurred at al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam, which is located on the Temple Mount complex, the holiest site in Judaism. (Though the Israeli government routinely rejects the charge, and non-Muslim presence and activity on the Temple Mount remains highly restricted, Palestinian leaders often declare that al-Aqsa is in danger, an accusation that predates the founding of Israel.)
Multiple Palestinian celebrations broke out in Gaza, the West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem following news of the killings in Tel Aviv. Palestinian residents of Hebron and Gaza set off fireworks in honor of the shooting, while the Gaza-based Shehab News Agency reported that Palestinians in the Strip handed out sweets after receiving news of the attack.
Dozens of Palestinians also gathered near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City to sing and cheer for the gunmen, the Jerusalem Post reported. Many young men took to the streets in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, distributing candies to passing drivers, while dozens marched near Bethlehem in honor of the attack. Revelers in the West Bank were singing, chanting, and waving flags, Reuters reported.
Hashtags including “#Carlo Bullet,” referring to the gun used by the terrorists, as well as “#We broke the fast killing them,” referring to the fact that the attack took place during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, also went viral on Palestinian social media.
Leading Palestinian officials, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, have been accused of inciting violence against Israelis, and re-enactments, songs, and graphics in celebration of terrorist attacks often go viral on Palestinian social media. Such attacks have broad support in the Palestinian territories, with a poll conducted over the first three months of 2016 finding that over 60 percent of Palestinians approve of “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel.”