In the past few months, Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah officials, headed by PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas, have continued to hold events and receptions honoring terrorists who carried out attacks, including against Israeli civilians, primarily during the period of the Second Intifada. These activities have included meetings with released prisoners, awards and decorations for prisoners' and martyrs' families, praise for the mothers of terrorists and martyrs, condolence calls to the families of terrorists, participation in ceremonies in memory of martyrs, and more.
This report will present examples from the recent months of PA and Fatah support, both institutional and moral, for terrorists and for the armed struggle against Israel.
'Abbas: The Martyrs And Prisoners Are 'Stars In The Sky Of The Palestinian People's Struggle'; We Will Continue To Compensate Their Families
In recent months, PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas frequently participated in events at which he expressed support for prisoners and martyrs. On July 23, 2018, at a Ramallah ceremony honoring Palestinian prisoners and martyrs, during which he awarded medals to the families of the martyred prisoners and to released prisoners, he referred to the martyrs and prisoners as "pioneers" and "stars in the sky of the Palestinian people's struggle" who "have a top priority in everything," and stated that the payments to them and to their families would continue. He said: "We will neither reduce nor withhold the allowances of the families of martyrs, prisoners, and released prisoners, as some want [us to do]; if we had only a single penny left, we would pay it to families of the martyrs and prisoners." Fatah Central Committee Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub described the prisoners as the sector "that has been the most important and vital in confronting the occupation for the past 51 years."
Fatah, Headed By Mahmoud 'Abbas, Fetes Released Prisoners, Including One Responsible For Shootings, Suicide Attack During Second Intifada
On April 23, 2018 'Abbas met with a group of released prisoners who had been incarcerated in Israeli prisons for 15 years or more. One of them was Rafat Al-Jawabra, a former commander in Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, in Bethlehem, who was responsible for a series of shootings and for a suicide attack in the Jewish settlement of Efrat during the Second Intifada. Al-Jawabra was jailed in 2002, and was released in late 2017 after serving a 15-year sentence. Following his release, Mahmoud 'Abbas and Fatah held a festive reception for Al-Jawabra who, while still in prison, was elected to head the local council of the West Bank village of Al-Doha. During the reception, 'Abbas congratulated the released prisoners, saying that "the problem of the prisoners is the problem of the entire Palestinian people... The subject of the prisoners is a top priority for the Palestinian leadership, which invests every possible effort with international organizations and institutions and with the international community in order to ensure their release from the prisons of the Israeli occupation so that they will participate in the building of the independent Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem."
'Abbas, center, meeting with released prisoners who served 15-year sentences in Israeli prisons (image: Facebook.com/President.Mahmoud.Abbas, April 22, 2018)
'Abbas Meets With Mother Of Six Terrorists; Fatah Official: She Is The Model For Palestinian Mothers – We Are Proud Of Her
On April 25, 2018, 'Abbas met with Latifa Abu Hmeid (Umm Nasser), who has been dubbed "the Al-Khansa' of Palestine," the mother of six terrorists, members of Hamas and Fatah, who were involved in shooting and suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. One of them, 'Abd Al-Mun'im, was active in the Hamas military wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, and was killed by Israel. He assisted in the murder of three Israelis in the West Bank on December 14, 1990, and the murder of another Israeli on February 13, 1994. Four other sons are serving consecutive life sentences in Israeli prisons: Nasser, one of the founders of the Fatah military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, was a deputy to Marwan Barghouti, Fatah Secretary-General in the West Bank during the Second Intifada, and took an active part in the lynching of two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah on October 12, 2000. He is serving seven consecutive life sentences and an additional 50 years for the murder of seven Israelis and 12 additional attempted murders. Sharif, was active in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and supplied weapons and assistance for the execution of terror attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv during February and March 2002. He is serving four consecutive life sentences. Muhammad is serving two consecutive life sentences plus 30 years for planning suicide attacks for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. A fourth son, Nasr, was active with Nasser in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and is currently serving five consecutive life sentences for planning suicide attacks.
During the meeting, Latifa praised 'Abbas for "his support of prisoners and his close tending of their families." An article in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida quoted 'Abbas as saying: "There will be no peace agreement without the release of all the prisoners and detainees… For the issue of the prisoners is the heart of the conflict, and Israel is trying to wage war against us through our children." 'Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, who was also present at the meeting, said, "Umm Nasser [Abu] Hmeid is the mother of five prisoners, and she is 'the Al-Khansa' of Palestine.' She is a woman of virtues and willpower of whom we are proud as a symbol of the women of Palestine."
On June 17, 2018, Zaki paid an 'Eid Al-Fitr visit to Latifa Abu Hmeid at her home, after another son of hers, Islam Abu Hmeid, was arrested on suspicion of murdering Israeli soldier Ronen Lubarsky by dropping a marble slab on him from a building at the Al-Am'ari refugee camp. Islam Abu Hmeid had already spent five years in prison, from 2004 to 2009, for a shooting attack he had carried out on behalf of Hamas. Zaki praised Latifa, saying: "This mother, who with steadfastness and forbearance has borne suffering that even mountains cannot bear, and who has sacrificed her heroic sons for the homeland... This mother is the crown on all our heads, and she is a model for Palestinian mothers, and we bow before her willpower and her determination."
On June 11, 2018, Latifa Abu Hmeid was visited by Dr. Laila Ghanam, governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh district. On June 18, in an interview on Palestinian TV, Dr. Ghanam stressed that "our people, on the official and popular level, will stand alongside this [i.e. Latifa's] fighting family."
It should be noted that this is not the first time 'Abbas has met with Latifa Abu Hmeid, and that it is also not the first time that Fatah, which 'Abbas heads, has publicly expressed support for the mothers of terrorists.
'Abbas meets with Latifa Abu Hmeid, mother of six terrorists (image: Facebook.com/President.Mahmoud.Abbas April 26, 2018)
'Abbas Mourns Death Of Mother Of 11 Terrorists; Fatah: She Was 'A Role Model Of Sacrifice And Martyrdom'
On July 22, 2018, 'Abbas phoned released prisoner Talal Abu Leil, of the Balata refugee camp, to convey his condolences for the death of his mother Fatima (Umm Mahyoub) Abu Leil, who is likewise dubbed "the Khansa' of Palestine" and "Mother of the Martyrs," because five of her sons died as martyrs and six more have been incarcerated in Israeli prisons. One of them, Hussein Mustafa Abu Leil, received five life sentences plus 50 years for planning and carrying out terror operations, including suicide attacks, as a commander in Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. It should be noted that, in 2015, 'Abbas awarded the Al-Quds medal to the Abu Leil family.
Fatah also issued an obituary for Fatima Abu Leil, stressing that she was "a paragon of womanhood and motherhood, a steadfast jihad fighter and... an inspiration and a role model of sacrifice and martyrdom."
Photo of Fatima Abu Leil on Fatah website (fatehorg.ps, July 22, 2017)
'Abbas awards Al-Quds medal to members of the Abu Leil family (image: Wafa.ps, August 20, 2015)
Fatah Member And Former Director Of Prisoners' Affairs Commission About Terrorist Who Carried Out 1975 Jerusalem Bombing That Killed 15: We Are Proud Of Him, He Is A Paragon Of Giving And Heroism
On July 18, 2018, 'Issa Qaraqe', until recently director of the PLO's Commission for Prisoners and Released Prisoners Affairs, and Rasmi Hijaz, current village head of Turmus Ayya, participated in a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the death of terrorist Ahmad Jabbara (Abu Al-Sukar) and laid a wreath on his grave. Jabbara died of a heart attack at the age of 78. He was responsible for the April 1975 bombing in Jerusalem's Zion Square that killed 15 Israelis and wounded 70. In 2003, in a move perceived as a political gesture to then-PA President Yasser Arafat, Abu Al-Sukar was released by Israel after 27 years in prison.
In his address, Qaraqe' praised "the eldest of the prisoners," calling him "a true hero, a fighter, and a man who left his imprint on everyone, and who constituted a paragon of giving, steadfastness, and heroism." He added: "We are proud of him as one of the symbols of the national Palestinian struggle, and as a symbol of the struggle of the prisoners, male and female, for freedom and honor..."
Secretary Of Fatah Branch Praises Vehicular Attacker: The Martyrs Are Our Unending Supply Of Ammunition
Fatah and PA officials regularly pay condolence calls on families of terrorists who were killed as they carried out or attempted to carry out vehicular and stabbing attacks, and participate in ceremonies honoring them. For example, in July 2018, 'Issa Qaraqe' paid his respects to the family of Muhammad Marshoud, in the Balata refugee camp, who was killed on April 8, 2018 while attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Mishor Adumim area.
On July 10, 2018, Fatah's Bethlehem branch held a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the death of Muhammad Jibrin, from the village of Tuqu', who had wounded an Israeli soldier in a vehicular attack and attempted to follow up with a stabbing attack. Addressing the gathering, Fatah branch secretary Muhammad Al-Masri, said: "These martyrs are our unending [supply of] ammunition. They are our supply when all supply has dried up. They are our raised heads, when some try to bow their own heads..."
It should be noted that Jibrin was given a large military funeral by the PA security apparatus, attended by senior members of Fatah and the PA. In addition, high-ranking PA and Fatah officials arrived at the mourning tent to pay their respects to the family, among them General Intelligence chief Majed Faraj, who is a close associate of Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas; Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen, who delivered a speech on behalf of 'Abbas and Fatah; and 'Abbas Zaki, also a Central Committee member, who delivered a speech on behalf of Fatah.
Fatah Bethlehem branch secretary Muhammad Al-Masri, center, awards medal of appreciation to the father of terrorist Muhammad Jibrin (image: Facebook.com/iqlimfateh, July 11, 2018)
PA Official Visits Released Prisoner Who Was Involved In Shooting Attacks, Conveys Congratulations From PA Prime Minister
On June 27, 2018, PA Deputy Interior Minister Muhammad Mansour visited released prisoner Tahrir Al-Barghouti on behalf of PA Prime Minister 'Abbas and Interior Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah. Al-Barghouti, a Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) member, was released from prison in Israel after serving 16 years for attempted murder and involvement in perpetrating a shooting attack. Mansour congratulated Tahrir Al-Barghouti on behalf of Al-Hamdallah, and stressed that the Palestinian leadership "places the prisoners' issue at the top of its agenda," and praised "the prisoners' steadfastness."
PA Deputy Interior Minister visits released prisoner Tahrir Al-Barghouti (image: Maannews.net , June 27, 2018)
PA Daily Publishes Bereavement Notice For Woman Who Opened Her Home To Suicide Bombers
On July 7, 2018, the PLO Commission for Prisoners' and Released Prisoners' Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners' Club – two bodies headed by Fatah members – published a bereavement notice in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida for "the Khansa' of Hebron," Sabiha Al-Qawasmi, "the mother of two martyrs, Ahmad and Murad Al-Qawasmi, and of three prisoners, Hussein, Hussam, and Ziyad Al-Qawasmi."
Sabiha Al-Qawasmi's sons Hussein and Hussam were sentenced to life in prison, while Ziyad was placed under administrative arrest. Two other sons, Mahmoud and Muhammad, are former prisoners. A bereavement notice published by Hamas's 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades noted that all seven of her sons belonged to the Al-Qassam Brigades, and that she herself was "a woman of the Al-Qassam [Brigades] down to her very bones." It also stated that during the Second Intifada, Ms. Al-Qawasmi had opened her home to nearly two dozen Al-Qassam Brigades activists, some of whom went on to carry out suicide attacks – and that not only had she known about plans for some of the attacks, but had even requested of the Al-Qassam commanders that her son be allowed to carry one out.
Fatah Provides Housing To Families Of Martyrs
On March 12, 2018, the town of Salfit and its local Fatah branch announced the construction of homes for the families of local martyrs. Fatah's branch secretary in the Salfit district, 'Abd Al-Sattar 'Awwad, said that the intent of the project was "to ensure a roof over the heads of the families of martyrs." Salfit Mayor 'Abd Al-Karim Zubeidi said that the municipality had allocated the land for building the houses and that this was "a pioneering project, the result of collaboration between the Fatah movement and the municipality." Salfit District Governor Ibrahim Al-Balawi praised the initiative and said he hoped it would be extended to all PA districts, "to support the steadfastness of our people." Mounir Al-Jaghoub, the spokesman for Fatah's Recruitment and Organization Commission, called on the national institutions and the business sector to assist the Salfit district and municipality in implementing the project, so that it would succeed and become a "model to be emulated by all the districts of the homeland."
Fatah secretary in Salfit 'Abd Al-Sattar 'Awwad visits the building site of the homes being constructed for the families of martyrs (image: Fateh.salfeet, March 12, 2018)
It should be noted that this isn't the first time that the Fatah movement has provided housing to the families of terrorists. In February 2018, Palestinian media reported that the Fatah branch in the Jenin area had given a fully-furnished apartment to the family of the terrorist Ahmad Nasr Jarrar as compensation for the Israeli demolition of their home. Jarrar headed the Hamas squad that murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevach on January 9, 2018 near Havat Gilad junction in the West Bank, and was killed by Israeli troops a month later, in a February 6, 2018 raid. Fatah representatives noted that it was a national duty to provide housing to the family of a martyr who had sacrificed his life for Palestine and whose home had been razed by the occupation. Jarrar's mother and brother thanked Fatah for its support.
 See MEMRI TV Clip No. 6692, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Vows to Continue Funding Families of "Martyrs" and Prisoners: Even If We Had One Single Penny Left, July 24, 2018.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), July 24, 2018.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7248, Fatah, Headed By Mahmoud 'Abbas, Fetes Released Prisoner Responsible For Shootings, Suicide Attack During Second Intifada, December 26, 2017.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), April 23, 2018.
 Abu Hamid was nicknamed "the Al-Khansa' of Palestine" after 7th century Arabic poet Al-Khansa' bint ʿAmr, who was called "The Mother of the Martyrs" because she did not mourn the death of her four sons in the Battle of Qadisiyah, but rather thanked Allah for honoring her with their martyrdom.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), May 10, 2017; alqassam.ps , youtube.com, January 7, 2014; facebook.com/We.are.Handala, April 18. 2012; mako.co.il, October 11, 2011; felesteen.ps, May 4, 2017; www.paldf.net/forum, July 31, 2003; alwatanvoice.com, May 12, 2018.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), April 26, 2018.
 24news.ps, June 13, 2018.
 Facebook.com/%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B3-%D8%B2%D9%83%D9%8A-337638652954832, June 17, 2018.
 Facebook.com/Dr.laila.ghanam, June 18, 2018.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6934, Praise And Support For Imprisoned Terrorists By Palestinian Authority President 'Abbas, Palestinian Authority Officials, May 21, 2017; Inquiry and Analysis Series No. 1318, Palestinian Authority, Fatah Lead Campaign Of Solidarity With And Glorification Of Hunger-Striking Palestinian Prisoners, Including Murderers Of Israeli Civilians After Oslo Accords, June 5, 2017.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7084, Fatah Central Committee Member Honors Mother Of Three Palestinian Islamic Jihad 'Martyrs,' Praises Family's 'Pioneering Role', September 8, 2017.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), July 23, 2018.
 Asramedia.ps, July 22, 2018.
 Wafa.ps, August 20, 2015.
 Fatehorg.ps, July 22, 2018.
 Wafa.ps, July 18, 2018.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7193, Fatah Officials Attend Memorial Ceremony For Perpetrators Of Stabbing, Ramming Attacks, November 22, 2017.
 Wafa.ps, July 18, 2018.
 Facebook.com/iqlimfateh, July 11, 2018.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch 7010, Palestinian Authority Holds Military Funeral For Terrorist, July 14, 2017.
 Palsawa.com, June 10, 2018; Asrapal.net, December 18, 2012.
 Maannews.net, June 27, 2018.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), July 5, 2018.
 Alqassam.net, July 5, 2018.
 Maannews.net, March 12, 2018.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch 7358, Fatah, Headed By Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas, Gives Apartment To Family Of Terrorist Who Murdered An Israeli, February 27, 2018.