Amidst the recent surge in violence and terror attacks in Israel, Palestinian men, women and children continue to be incited to violence against Israeli soldiers and civilians. Videos, cartoons, blogs and posts on social media are being used by Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, and the Palestinian media, as a call-to-action for average Palestinian citizens to sacrifice their lives, and transform themselves into ‘martyrs’ for the cause of ‘Palestinian liberation’. It seems this cause is secondary however, to the murder of Jews, and the destruction of the State of Israel.
The incitement is occurring both passively and actively, manifesting itself in direct calls for violence, as well as in the absence of condemnation of violence, as President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is yet to denounce any of the terrorism that has occurred in recent weeks.
Below is a photo posted by the Fatah student arm, calling for a demonstration at Quds University in Bethlehem.
The image below, showing a masked man brandishing a knife and holding up two fingers in a V for “Victory” was posted on the official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement with the text: “We’ll be victorious or die.”
Another cartoon encouraged more rock throwing, calling Palestinians to “Advance, advance.” [Al-Ayyam, Oct. 9, 2015] The cartoon shows a Palestinian throwing a rock, with a Palestinian flag in the background.
Perhaps most frightening however, is the way in which the perpetrators of this terrorism have been glorified, celebrated, and honoured by the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, and even Palestinian civilians.
Below is a translation of what was posted on the Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement on October 26th, 2015, following an incident in which an Arab terrorist stabbed and seriously wounded an IDF soldier at a junction outside the Arab village of Bayt Einun, located just north of Kiryat Arba in the West Bank.
The path of the struggle: Palestinian National Liberation movement Fatah, North Hebron branch, escorts its Martyr (Shahid) son to his wedding. Raed Saket Abd Al-Rahman Jaradat, who carried out the stabbing operation at the Bet Anoun Junction
Another example of this can be seen in the case of terrorist Muhannad Halabi, who stabbed and murdered 2 Israelis, Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and Aharon Bennett, and injured Bennett’s wife, Adele, and their 2-year-old son in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3rd, 2015.
Not only was Halabi, the Palestinian law student, granted an honourary law degree, but the municipality of Surda-Abu Qash, where he lived, has decided to name a street after him. “This is in order to honor Halabi, who carried out a stabbing and shooting operation against settlers in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem,” the independent Palestinian news agency Donia Al-Watan reported on October 14th, 2015,
“This is the least we can do for Martyr Halabi,” Mayor Muhammad Hussein explained, insisting that naming the street after him is “intended to emphasize the national role played by municipalities.”
Paying tribute to terrorists through naming in their honour has been adopted not only by municipalities, but by parents. The official Fatah Facebook page posted the picture below of a newborn Palestinian baby who has been named “Knife of Jerusalem.” The picture is accompanied by the following caption:
“A [Palestinian] civilian from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip named his daughter ‘Knife of Jerusalem.'”
Not only are terrorists being honoured for their actions, but those publicly supporting the terrorism are being rewarded for their participation in the recent uprising. Below is an inciting cartoon drawn by artist Al-Bukhari, who has recently been awarded for his publications.
According to Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official daily newpapaper of the Palestinian National Authority:
The president [Abbas] awarded the Order of Merit for Culture, Sciences and Arts to the creator and artist Al-Bukhari in recognition of his creative path in plastic arts and cartoons, and out of recognition of his life full of giving, actions, struggle, and beauty, in a way that fits Palestine and its resolute and full culture.
Here is an image of Bukhari receiving his award from President Abbas.
Furthermore, a large proportion of the incitement to violence is coming from a distortion of facts, and at times, blatant lies about the acts of terrorism being committed against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
For example, on October 18th 2015, Muhannad Al-Okabi – a 21-year-old Israeli Bedouin terrorist – entered the Be’er Sheva bus station with a knife and a pistol, murdering 19-year-old Israeli soldier Sgt. Omri Levy, then grabbing his automatic rifle to shoot at people in the station, wounding 11 others. Al-Okabi was shot and killed by Israeli police.
While the forum of Negev Bedouin council leaders strongly condemned the attack, stating that “The terrorist who committed this act does not represent any Bedouin residents, who favor coexistence and living together…”, the following was posted on the official Facebook page of Advisor to PA Chairman Abbas on NGOs, and Fatah Central Committee member, Sultan Abu Al-Einein:
For a long time the Israeli enemy officials have been boasting about the strength of their army, and they have described it as an ‘invincible army,’ which has become the fourth strongest army in the world. Yesterday, we saw the exact truth of this army: A [well-] armed army which was beaten by Martyr Muhannad Al-Okabi (terrorist who shot and killed 1 and wounded 11), and before him Muhannad Halabi (terrorist who stabbed and killed 2 and wounded 2), even though he was defenseless, and was not armed with anything but his right to his homeland and his Palestinian will – the same will which the great armies of the world have not been and will not be able to defeat or harm. How many messages of sacrifice are showing in this scene? Armed soldiers throwing down their weapons out of fear of Muhannad’s knife, others seeking a wall or fence out of fear of you, hero that you are. We loved you, Muhannad. We loved you, while you sowed life for all Palestinians. We and the whole world saw soldiers flee, despite being armed with their weapons, the moment Martyr Muhannad [Al-Okabi] fell upon them, when he was ‘defenseless’ or ‘pulling out a knife.’ Thus he created another rung on the ladder of Palestinian praise, and has won the medal of honor as a Martyr whose name is engraved on every Palestinian’s chest. Note: I advise the enemy to arrest everyone whose name is Muhannad.
The post paints Al-Okabi as having been ‘defenseless’ and unarmed, with no mention of the soldier he killed, or the 11 people that he wounded.
With the incitement to violence strengthening, spreading, and self-perpetuating, it seems the end to this conflict is far from in-sight.