February 1, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10452

Al-Jazeera Presenters, Journalists In Qatari Press, Qatar-Backed Muslim Clerics: Terrorist Attack Near Jerusalem Synagogue Was 'Brave Act' Of 'Legitimate Resistance,' Its Perpetrator Is A 'Hero'

February 1, 2023
Qatar, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10452

The January 27, 2023 shooting near a synagogue in Jerusalem's Neve Ya'akov neighborhood, in which a Palestinian terrorist, Khairi 'Alqam, shot and killed six Israelis and one Ukrainian national, was praised by presenters on Qatar's Al-Jazeera channel, by journalists in the Qatari press and by members of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which has been supported by the Qatari establishment for many years. The journalists and scholars called the shooter a "martyr" and a "hero" and described the attack as a "heroic act" of "legitimate resistance" and an appropriate response to the killing of Palestinians during an operation to eliminate a terrorist cell carried out by the Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp on January 26, 2023. Some of the tweets played on the terrorist's name, Khairi ('good') 'Alqam ('bitter'), writing that he had embittered the Israelis' lives in a way that revealed his goodness. Several said that the attack was a message to the Arab countries that have normalized relations with Israel and criticized their condemnation of the attack. One Islamic scholar went so far as to assert that whoever condemns the attack is "a traitor against Allah and His Prophet."

This report reviews these responses in praise of the attack.

Al-Jazeera Presenters Glorify The Attack And The Shooter

Ahmed Mansour: 'Alqam Prepared Himself For His Goal And Hit 100% Of His Targets

Al-Jazeera presenter Ahmed Mansour shared an image of the terrorist, Khairi 'Alqam, riding a white horse in Jerusalem, with the text "The hero Khairi 'Alqam embittered their [i.e. the Israelis'] lives and earned the good of this world and the next." In the accompanying message he wrote, "Some people are born with a secret or cause [known only to] Allah. They live among us and no one knows about them. They don't belong to any political party or organization, but only to this nation and to this mighty religion. They prepare themselves quietly for the day and the hour, the objective and the target, just like the martyr Khairi 'Alqam, who hit 15 settlers with a handgun containing only 15 bullets. He hit his targets with 100% accuracy and he fought until he was martyred."[1]

Al-Jazeera Presenter: The Attack Was Not Terrorism But Legitimate Resistance; The Emirates Yearn To Please Israel

Al-Jazeera presenter Haitham Abu Saleh shared the condemnations issued by the UAE following Israel's operation in Jenin and following the terrorist attack in Jerusalem, and claimed that their wording clearly indicates that the UAE "yearns to please Israel," since it described the Jerusalem attack as an "act of terror" and a "criminal" act. He wrote: "[Here is] a comparison between the two statements issued by the Emirati foreign ministry regarding what happened in Jenin and in Jerusalem, which clearly shows that the UAE has normalized its relations with Israel and yearns to please it. The Jerusalem action is neither a 'terrorist attack' nor a 'criminal act,' as the statement says. It is legitimate resistance to the occupation that steals the land of Palestine."[2]

Jamal Rayyan: The Jerusalem Attack Was A Message That The Struggle For Palestine Is Not Yet Over

Prominent Al-Jazeera host Jamal Rayyan tweeted a few hours after the Jerusalem shooting: "This act is a response to the Israeli army storming the Jenin refugee camp and murdering nine Palestinians and to [Israel's] ongoing settlement activity. It is a clear message to the regimes of normalization [with Israel] that there is occupation, there is resistance, and there is a struggle in Palestine that is not yet over."[3]

Journalists In Qatari Press Tweet In Praise Of The Shooter, Celebrate The Death Of The Israeli Victims

Qatari journalists commented in a similar vein.

Qatari Journalist: Bravo To The Jihad Fighter; What Was Taken By Force Will Only Be Regained By Force

Qatari journalist Fawwaz Al-'Ajmi tweeted after the shooting: "Seven Zionists were killed and 12 were wounded in a heroic operation by a Palestinian paragon of freedom, honor, combat and jihad.  Bravo, bravo, bravo. Oh jihad fighter, this is the correct response to the crimes and the terror of the Zionist enemy. An eye of an eye, a tooth for a tooth and blood for blood. What was taken by force will only be regained by force."[4]

Qatari Journalist Praises The Father of "The Hero Who Caused Israel's Heart To Quake"

Qatari journalist Ebtesam Al-Sa'ad shared a video in which Khairi 'Alqam's father expresses pride in his son, and commented: "'I knew how to raise my son' – those are the words of a long-suffering man who bears [his son's death] with fortitude, the father of the Palestinian martyr Khairi 'Alqam, the hero of the Jerusalem operation that caused Israel's heart to quake. These are the words of a father who does not care what Israel might do to him, to his family and to their home [in response to the attack]. On the contrary, he is proud of what his son did and prays that Allah will reward him [for it]."[5]

In another tweet, Al-Sa'ad celebrated the death of the seven shooting victims by sharing pictures of their funerals, captioned "the corpses of the Jerusalem operation," and added a smiling emoji.[6]

Algerian sports commentator Hafid Derradji, who appears on Qatar's BeIN SPORTS channel and writes a column in the Qatari Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily, also celebrated the shooting and attacked Arab countries that  have normalized relations with Israel. He tweeted: "The Jenin refugee camp is resisting and Jerusalem is taking revenge [on Israel]. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and those who started [the violence] are to blame.' Our condolences to those who normalized their relations [with Israel] and who understood yesterday that Israel, which cannot [even] defend its [own] people from Khairi 'Alqam's gun, will not be able to defend the normalizing regimes against the anger of their people."[7]

Palestinian Columnist In Qatari Daily: The Shooting Is The Solution In The Face Of A State That Understands Only Murder

Palestinian journalist Samir Al-Barghouti, a columnist for the Qatari daily Al-Watan, wrote under the headline "Khairi 'Alqam – A Lone Wolf": "Jerusalem quickly provided the response [to the Israeli operation in Jenin]. We felt triumphant and proudly said farewell to our martyrs [in Jenin]. A single young man carried out an act [worthy of] a country's army… The avenging youth Khairi 'Alqam wanted to embitter the lives of the Zionists in response to their massacre in Jenin… 'Alqam carried out the operation alone. He did not belong to any Palestinian faction, neither to Fatah nor to Hamas… He was a 'lone wolf,' as the enemies called him… This is the solution in the face of a state [Israel] that understands only murder… [Oh lone wolf], look and see. You are the hope that Palestine will [once again] be Arab, as it was before May 15, 1948, and everything we have is at your disposal."[8]   

Members Of Qatar-Backed IUMS Welcome The Jerusalem Shooting

As stated, praise for the attack was also voiced by members of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which has been supported by Qatar for many years.

IUMS Deputy-Chairman And 'Oman Grand Mufti: We Welcome The Brave Resistance With All Our Hearts

Ahmed bin Hamad Al-Khalili, the Grand Mufti of Oman and the deputy chairman of the IUMS, tweeted: "We welcome with all our hearts the brave resistance in the occupied land and in honorable Gaza and pray that Allah will quickly grant them a clear and precious victory that will uproot the occupying enemy and leave no trace of its rule in the occupied land. [We pray that] dear Palestine will be honorable and free under the rule of its people."[9]

IUMS Member Nawwaf Al-Takrouri: Whoever Condemns This "Blessed Operation" Is A Traitor Against Allah

Nawwaf Al-Takrouri, head of the Association of Palestinian Scholars Abroad and member of the IUMS board of directors, who in the past has permitted suicide operations and jihad in every part of the world,[10] tweeted: "This is a blessed operation against the murderers who murdered our people yesterday in Jenin and in Jerusalem and who constantly perpetrate murders all over Palestine. This is the only reward they deserve. Only this kind of blessed response will deter them from their arrogance and crimes." In another tweet he wrote: "Even before [we hear] condemnations from those who have become accustomed to condemn our people's jihad, its self-defense and its defense of the nation's holy places, I wish to clarify a religious ruling: Anyone who condemns this blessed operation, whoever he may be, is a traitor against Allah, His Messenger [Muhammad], the Muslim holy places and the [Muslims'] blood."[11]

IUMS Member: The Shooter Is An Emblem Of Victory Who Embittered The Life Of His Enemies

Another member of the IUMS board of directors, Muhammad Al-Saghir, shared a photo of the shooter and wrote: "This is Khairi 'Alqam, the emblem of victory who carried out the operation in Jerusalem. He divided his name in two: [one part] for his nation and [the other part] for its enemy. We [the members of his nation] saw the good [khair] in him, but he embittered ['alqam] the lives [of the enemies]. Satisfied, he then ascended to heaven to join the martyrs of the Jenin massacre."[12]




[1], January 28, 2023.

[2], January 28, 2023.

[3], January 27, 2023.

[4], January 27, 2023.

[5], January 28, 2023.

[6], January 29, 2023.

[7], January 28, 2023.

[8] Al-Watan (Qatar), January 28, 2023.

[9], January 28, 2023.

[11], January 27, 2023.

[12], January 28, 2023.

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