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April 8, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9887

Fatah Celebrates Terror Attack In Central Tel Aviv

April 8, 2022
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 9887

Like in the case of the other recent terror attacks in Israel, news of the April 7, 2022 shooting on Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv, which was perpetrated by Ra'ad Fathi Hazem from Jenin and in which two Israeli civilians were killed and several were wounded, was received with joy in the Palestinian Authority (PA), and sweets were handed out in Ramallah in celebration of the event.

Although PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas condemned the attack,[1] elements in the Fatah movement, which he heads, welcomed it, describing it as a "natural reaction" and "heroic operation," and praised the shooter. For example, in a Facebook post that was removed several hours later, the local branch of the Fatah movement in Jenin extolled "the martyr who carried out the heroic operation in Tel Aviv," and claimed he was a member of Fatah. The statement promised that the movement and its military branch, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, would continue in his footsteps. The Nidal Al-'Amoudi faction of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade issued a similar statement, and called to carry out further attacks of this kind.

In a post on his Twitter page, Mounir Al-Jaghoub, a spokesperson for Fatah's Recruitment and Organization Commission, refrained from condemning the attack and urged the world to understand that continued occupation would lead to more violence and killing.

The gunman's father, Fathi Hazem, who was an officer in the PA National Security Forces, [2] told people who gathered in front of his home that he was proud of his son, who had carried the banner and sacrificed for the sake of Palestine. [3]


The shooter, Ra'ad Fathi Hazem (Source: Facebook.com/husari.essah, April 8, 2022)

This report reviews the responses of various elements in the Fatah movement to the attack, and the expressions of praise for the shooter.

Fatah Official: Ongoing Occupation Will Lead To Further Violence And Killing

Mounir Al-Jaghoub, spokesperson for Fatah's Recruitment and Organization Commission, tweeted on April 7, 2022 in response to the Tel-Aviv terror attack: "The world must understand that the continued occupation of the land of the state of Palestine, the continued killing, land-grabs and construction of settlements that cause the Palestinians to lose hope of ever living in freedom in their state, and the occupation's insistence on continuing these actions, along with the world's double standard, bias and disregard of the occupation's crimes against our people – all these will lead to further violence and killing. The only solution is to end the occupation of the Palestinian land and realize [the goal of establishing] a Palestinian state on the ground."[4]


Mounir Al-Jaghoub's tweet

'Abdallah 'Abdallah, a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, said on Al-Jazeera following the April 7 attack that Israel will not enjoy peace and security as long as the Palestinian people do not enjoy them. He added  that Israel must stop employing a policy of collective punishment against the Palestinians.[5]

Fatah In Jenin Praises The Perpetrator Of the "Heroic Tel Aviv Operation," Promises To Continue In His Footsteps

Fatah's Jenin branch posted a statement on its Facebook page in which it praised "the martyr who carried out the heroic operation in Tel Aviv." It congratulated the attacker on his "nuptials" (a reference to the Muslim belief that a martyr weds 72 black-eyed virgins in Paradise), and promised to continue in his footsteps. The statement, which has since been removed from the page, said:

"Announcement from the Jenin branch of Fatah and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade…

"'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]…

"Fatah in Jenin informs our mighty Palestinian people and all the freedom-lovers in the world of the [heavenly] nuptials of the living martyr who carried out the heroic operation in occupied Tel Aviv and Jaffa, the fidai [self-sacrificing fighter] who fasted [on Ramadan]… the hero and leader Ra'ad Fathi Hazem, [an activist in] the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and in Fatah–Jenin…

"He was Fatah's thunder[6] in the skies of Palestine, which roared and shattered the fake breakwater,[7] obstructed the plans of the oppressive Zionist occupation and rocked the fragile Zionist entity to its core. He is the thunder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who are quick to respond and who keep their promises, are true to their word, and are loyal to the blood of the martyrs, the sacrifice of the prisoners, the sighs of the wounded and the suffering and sacrifices of our people…   

"O freedom-lovers of the world, o revolutionaries of the world, this fidai operation is a natural reaction to the crimes of the Israeli occupation that continues to kill and execute our people… Its latest crime was the assassination of the three heroes Saif Abu Libdeh, Khalil Tawalbeh and Saeb 'Abahreh.[8] These crimes of the occupation, [along with] the international silence and the double standard of the international community, place our people on a path of inevitable confrontation. The world must understand that there will be no peace and stability in the region or in the world until the Israeli occupation ends and our independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, is established… The Fatah movement and its military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, will continue to ambush this filthy occupation and will not allow it to harm the Palestinian blood and the sacred historical rights [of the Palestinian people].

"O Ra'ad, a model for the world, a legend of Ramadan… a lighthouse for the honorable fidais, the luminous sun and moon of Palestine, rest in peace and be content. We will continue in your footsteps, in the footsteps of the eternal martyr Abu 'Amar [Yasser Arafat]…  and of all the honorable martyrs, until [the establishment] of an independent state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. [We wish] glory and eternal life to our righteous martyrs, a quick salvation to our free prisoners, a rapid recovery to our brave wounded, death to the collaborators and traitors, and an end to the occupation. This revolution [will continue] until victory."[9]


Graphic honoring the gunman on the Fatah–Jenin Facebook page

The Fatah youth branch in Jenin posted a graphic on its Facebook page that said: "The last time the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, the special forces of the Israeli army, operated on the streets of Tel Aviv was in 1978, following the operation carried out by Dalal Al-Mughrabi. [10] Today was the second time.[11]


The graphic posted by the Fatah youth branch in Jenin

Nidal Al-'Amoudi Faction Of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade Calls For Further Attacks

Following the shooting, the Nidal Al-'Amoudi faction within the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade issued a statement that welcomed "the heroic shooting operation in Tel Aviv, in which two settlers were killed and several others were wounded," and added: "We call to continue the fidai operations in all parts of Palestine until Allah grants us liberty and salvation from the occupation and the establishment of an independent state."[12]

 

[1]  Wafa.ps, April 8, 2022.

[2]  Nsf.ps, March 11, 2015.

[3]  Sama.news.ps, April 8, 2022.

[4]  Twitter.com/MonirAljaghoub, April 7, 2022.

[5]  Palsawa.com, April 7, 2022.

[6]  The attacker's name, Ra'ad, means thunder.

[7]  A reference to Operation Breakwater, the name given by Israel to the recent counter-terrorism operation in the West Bank aimed at curbing the string of terror attacks in Israel.

[8]  Three operatives of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad who were killed on April 2 on their way to carry out an attack.

[9] Facebook.com/102214765476135, April 8, 2022.

[10] Dalal Al-Mughrabi was the deputy-commander of the Palestinian terrorist cell that carried out the Coastal Road Massacre on March 11, 1978.

[11]  Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100021246335101, April 7, 2022.

[12] Alkofiya.tv, April 7, 2022.

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