The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
Sheikh Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, the terrorist who shot one Israeli dead and wounded four others in a November 21, 2021 terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, was a member of Hamas. Immediately after the attack, Hamas claimed responsibility for it, issuing a number of statements in which it acknowledged that Abu Shkhaydam was a senior movement member and announced that it was "ushering the martyred hero [Abu Shkhaydam] to his wedding," an allusion to the Islamic tradition that a martyr weds 72 virgins in Paradise. The statements said further that the Palestinian people would continue the jihad and the armed resistance. Saleh Al-'Arouri, the deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, said that the movement was proud of Shkhaydam's action and that sacrifices must be made for Al-Aqsa.
It should be noted that Abu Shkhaydam, a preacher and schoolteacher, was active on social media and posted his sermons on his various accounts. An examination of his Facebook account reveals that he admired 'Abdallah 'Azzam, a Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood member who is known as the spiritual father of the global jihad movement and of Osama Bin Laden.
This report reviews Hamas' responses to the attack perpetrated by Abu Shkhaydam, and some of his activity on social media.
Fadi Abu Shkhaydam (Qudsn.net, November 21, 2021)
Hamas: We Are Ushering The Martyr To His Wedding; The Palestinian People Continues Its Jihad
As stated, immediately after the attack Hamas posted a statement on its official website announcing that the attacker was a senior member of the movement. The statement said: "The Hamas movement is ushering its heroic martyred son, Sheikh Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, the [Hamas] leader in the Shu'afat refugee camp, to his wedding [in Paradise, after] he carried out the operation at the Chain Gate in occupied Jerusalem today [November 21, 2021]. Our martyr spent his life in Jerusalem, engaging in da'wah [preaching] and jihad, as [anyone] in the city and at the Al-Aqsa compound will attest. Today he ascends [to Paradise] after a heroic battle in which he toppled the forces of the occupation, inflicting deaths and injuries upon them. This heroic action conveys a warning to the criminal enemies and their government, that they must stop the aggression against our land and our holy sites, and that they will pay for their acts of usurpation and unrestrained brutality in the Al-Aqsa mosque and in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah [neighborhoods in Jerusalem]. We stress that the option of all-out resistance – by every means, primarily by the force of arms – is the way to restrain the enemy and end the enemy's aggression. The Palestinian people continues its jihad.
The statement on Hamas' website
The movement also issued an obituary for the attacker, which said: "And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision" [Quran 3:169]. The Hamas movement is ushering its heroic martyred son, the mujahid sheikh Dr. Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, to his wedding [in Paradise]. He ascended [to Paradise] on Sunday morning after carrying out a high-quality shooting operation in the Old City in occupied Jerusalem, causing the death of an occupation soldier and injuring others. This is jihad: [either] victory or martyrdom."
Hamas' obituary for Fadi Abu Shkhaydam
Saleh Al-'Arouri, the deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, said that "it is an honor and a source of pride for Hamas that the one who carried out the heroic operation in Jerusalem today is one of its members," and added: "Our people's desire for jihad renews itself from day to day. Sacrificing our lives for Al-Aqsa is a trivial matter for us, and something we must do in order to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque." Hamas spokesperson in Jerusalem Muhammad Hamada said on Al-Aqsa TV: "The path of resistance is the true and certain path towards the liberation of Palestine […] Resistance is the only option. The nightmare of operations [against the enemy] will return."
Screen-grab from a video on "Sheikh Fadi Abu Shkhaydam – The Fighting Teacher" (source: youtube.com/channel/UCFFuMGTQXLitNuiU4SIe5vQ)
Abu Shkhaydam's Facebook Page Shows He Was Inspired By 'Abdullah 'Azzam, The Spiritual Father Of Global Jihad
As mentioned, Abu Shkhaydam, who worked as a preacher, was active on social media, including on Facebook (@fadiabushkhaidem)  and YouTube ( , and posted many of his sermons on his accounts. His profile picture in 2012 combined his portrait, an image of Al-Aqsa and the image of an armed Hamas fighter, with the slogan "O Jerusalem, we are coming."
Abu Shkhaydam's profile picture
In a 2020 sermon, which was posted to the Faris Al-Fawaris Facebook page," he said that "the Jewish and Christian masters of heresy” are part of an effort to fight against shari’a and spread injustice. He added that they, their followers, and other opponents of shari’a are led by Satan and financed by "filthy money" from "those Bedouins" in the UAE.
To view a MEMRI TV Clip of excerpts from the sermon, click below.
Abu Shkhaydam's Facebook page shows that he was inspired by 'Abdallah 'Azzam, a Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood member who was killed in Pakistan in 1989 and is known as the spiritual father of the global jihad movement and of Osama bin Laden. In 2013 both his profile picture and his background image showed 'Azzam.
Background image and profile picture on Abu Shkhaydam's Facebook page in 2013 both feature 'Abdallah 'Azzam
An August 19, 2013 post included a photo of 'Azzam, with the comment: "How [well] we remember your words, Abu Muhammad, in moments like this."
Post about 'Abdallah 'Azzam