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On November 23, 2022, in twin terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, an IED exploded at a bus stop near the entrance to the city and a half hour later a second IED exploded at another bus stop a short distance away. A 16-year-old was killed and as of this writing another 22 people were wounded in the two attacks. Following the terrorist attacks, jihadi clerics in Syria and the Gaza Strip praised the renewal of "the jihadi actions in Palestine," and likened them – in the spirit of the World Cup games in Qatar being held at the same time – to goals being scored by the "mujahideen in Palestine" against the "tyrannical Zionists."
Jihadi Clerics In Syria: We Welcome The Renewal Of The Terrorist Attacks "Which Haven't Been Seen For A Quarter-Century," And Liken Them to Goals Scored In the World Cup
On his Telegram channel, independent Syrian jihadi cleric Abu Yahya Al-Shami posted a message which reads, "Today, the Palestinian mujahideen scored two goals against the tyrannical Zionists. Both of them are good, beautiful and much more helpful – to those who hold the lofty aspirations – than all the football competitions. To each thing there is a time and a judgment. At this time the Islamic nation is in a situation of defensive jihad and whoever occupies the Muslims with other matters at the very least is misguided and misleading others."
Egyptian-born independent jihadi cleric Talhah Al-Musayyar aka Abu Shu'ayb Al-Masri, also posted a message on his Telegram channel in response to the attacks. His post reads, "The booby-trapped devices have returned to disrupt the rest of the Jews." He also shared a post he wrote on November 15, which states, "The increase in the rate of jihadi actions in Palestine heralds, with Allah's help, a renewal of the special jihadi actions of about a quarter-century ago. Back then one mujahid would take down more than 10 or 20 despicable occupiers, not including wounded."
In a sarcastic post on his Telegram channel, Al-Zubayr Al-Ghazzi, a cleric from Gaza, affiliated with the Syrian jihadi group Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) writes, "It's a morning of martyrdom-seeking operations […] a morning of heroism, honor, pride, and glory, which the heroes of Palestine are recording anew today, in a different way." Al-Ghazzi notes that "for a looooooooooong time we have not heard news of martyrdom-operations in the occupied interior of Palestine [i.e. Israel proper], in Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Acre, Safed, Lod, Ramla, and Tall Al-Rabi' [i.e. Tel Aviv], and now they return again to bring healing to our hearts and delight our ears… Oh Allah, increase and bless [such attacks]."
In another post, Al-Ghazzi celebrates the bombings for raising Muslims' morale, quoting statements by Israeli leaders and media emphasizing the severity of the attacks. He expresses wishes that future "martyrdom-seeking operations" will "wreak havoc on the heads of unbelief in Lod, Ramla, Tall Al-Rabi', Haifa, Jaffa, and Acre," and that similar attacks will be perpetrated "in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and Hama." Al-Ghazzi also shares a cartoon by a Palestinian news outlet depicting an "explosion in Jerusalem" as a trophy, writing: "The Jerusalem World Cup is our World Cup."
Jihadi Cleric in Gaza: Attacks Are "World Cup" For Muslims to "Enjoy;" The Natural State of Any Nation Living Under Occupation Is To Wage Jihad
Ahmad Samir Qanitah (Abu 'Ubaydah), a jihadi Gazan commentator and expert on international affairs, posted a message on his Telegram channel that states that the attacks, "take us back 20 years to the glories of martyrdom-seeking operations and explosives-rigged vehicles," and asks Allah to protect the perpetrators and planners. Qanitah shares a caricature by a Palestinian news outlet depicting an "explosion in Jerusalem" as a trophy, writing that while most Arabs and Muslims are watching the World Cup in Qatar to "attain enjoyment and passion," the "heroes of Palestine" decided to "add more enjoyment for the crowds at the Jerusalem World Cup," adding: "Let us enjoy the World Cup together."
In another post, he declares that the "natural state" of any nation living under occupation is to "practice jihad and struggle on a daily basis, so that resistance becomes an intrinsic part of its psychological makeup, ideological structure, and practical behavior," praising "the heroes of the [West] Bank and the lions of Jerusalem" for "lighting the earth on fire under the feet of the occupiers" and declaring that "victory is near, Allah willing."
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