Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

PA continues to glorify terrorists

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Despite its claimed opposition to terrorism, the PA continues to glorify terrorists.

This was reinforced again when Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas met with freed Palestinian terrorist Amna Muna in Turkey on December 21, along with ten other Palestinians freed and exiled to Turkey as part of the deal to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in October.

Muna is a 35-year-old West Bank woman who was serving a life sentence for using an Internet promise of romance to lure 16-year-old Israeli Ophir Rahum to the West Bank, where he was killed by waiting militants in 2001.

According to a PA statement Abbas "praised the prisoners for remaining steadfast in the face of Israeli wardens' mastery."

In response to Abbas' meeting, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office released a statement, saying that it was "shocking to see the man who claims to the whole world that he aims for peace with Israel, going as far as Turkey to meet a despicable murderer."

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev said that:

"instead of promoting peace and reconciliation, the Palestinian leadership seems to be putting extremist murderers up on a pedestal... This raises serious questions as to their commitment and as to their desire to end the conflict."

In October, Israel and Hamas agreed that, in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel would release 1,027 prisoners, some 400 of whom were serving life sentences for terrorist atrocities. The first group of 477 prisoners were released in October, and the second group of 550 prisoners were released this week. Israel was able to select the second group of prisoners - and chose those who were convicted of offences that did not involve direct responsibility for bloodshed. Israel also released over 50 Palestinian minors in the second group of prisoners released.

Meanwhile, another prisoner Wafa al-Bis freed in the first phase of the Shalit prisoner swap deal, recently gave an interview to Fox News on how she plans to be a suicide bomber. The 26 year old now lives in Gaza and told Fox News, ‘I will carry my explosive belt once again'.

Wafa al-Bis tried and failed to be a suicide bomber when she pressed the detonator her bomb did not explode in 2004. She planned to blow herself up at a hospital in Israel where she was once treated. Wafa al-Bis not only says that she plans to be suicide bomber but urges other women and children to commit acts of terror against Israel. To watch the disturbing interview click here.

In Palestinian society, Palestinian terrorists are often considered heroes and ‘freedom fighters', and this is often encouraged by the PA despite its pretence of promoting peaceful resistance.  When Abbas meets with Palestinian terrorists, he is rewarding their behaviour and promoting future acts of terror.  Despite his claims to oppose terror, he is essentially endorsing the message of someone like Wafa al-Bis in urging Palestinians to follow her example. One wants to ask the PA or Muna what is heroic about killing a sixteen year old boy who was looking for love?

Palestinian Media Watch also reports on the PA's continued glorification of terrorists:

"The terrorists honored most highly amongst Palestinian society are those who have killed the greatest number. Abd Al-Baset Udeh, killer of 30 at the Passover Seder massacre, had a soccer tournament for 14-year-olds named for him. His brother was honored with distributing the trophies. Dalal Mughrabi, terrorist bus hijacker (led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history in 1978, when she and other terrorists killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children) has had summer camps, schools, graduation ceremonies and sporting events named for her, as well as many TV documentaries honoring her.
Palestinian newspapers also frequently glorify Mughrabi, as in the Al-Ayyam article which described Mughrabi as writing "the most glorious page of heroism in the history of the Palestinian struggle. [Aug. 2, 2009]. Thaer Hammad, who as a lone gunman murdered 10 Israelis in 2002, was glorified by the official PA daily as the hero of the Intifada.'"

PA complaints about a supposed Israeli lack of serious interest in peace will continue to ring hollow as long as they keep meeting with and glorifying terrorists.

Sharyn Mittelman