print
memri
December 30, 2015 No.
6249

PA Commemorates Perpetrators Of Stabbing Attacks

The Palestinian Authority (PA) regards stabbing attacks as part of the "National Awakening," a general term for the clashes and violent incidents that have been taking place since early October 2015. As a rule, the PA does not condemn these attacks but rather justifies and even glorifies them. Stabbers who were killed by Israeli security forces or civilians in the course of the stabbing are considered martyrs executed in cold blood. Recently the PA commemorated some of these stabbers, especially Muhannad Al-Halabi, who on October 3, 2015, carried out in Jerusalem the first stabbing attack of the current wave. In addition, the PA holds rallies of solidarity with stabbers who survived, such as the boy Ahmad Manasra who stabbed an Israeli boy in Jerusalem on October 12, 2015.

The commemoration of and solidarity with the terrorists is expressed inter alia by naming a street and erecting an official monument in honor of Muhannad Al-Halabi in his home town; in holding sports competitions in his honor and in the honor of other terrorists, which are sponsored by PA or Fatah institutions and officials and covered by the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida; and holding various ceremonies, including in schools, in memory of the martyrs and in solidarity with their families, which are likewise sponsored by PA institutions and attended by officials.

Below are examples of acts of commemoration and expressions of solidarity initiated or sponsored by the PA or Fatah:

Monument Commemorating Muhannad Al-Halabi

On November 12, 2015, Muhannad Al-Halabi's home town, Surda-Abu Qash in the Ramallah governorate, held a ceremony to mark 40 days after his death. During the ceremony, the municipality announced the naming of a street after Al-Halabi and unveiled a monument in his honor, shaped like a map of Palestine from the River to the Sea and bearing his portrait and name over the inscription "State of Palestine" (see photo below). Speakers at the ceremony praised him, saying that he had defended Jerusalem and "launched a new stage in the struggle to remove the occupation."[1]


Monument in honor of Muhannad Al-Halabi (Image: Alakhbar.ps November 13, 2015)

West Bank Sports Competitions In Honor Of Muhannad Al-Halabi

The PA and Fatah also hold sports competitions in honor of attackers who were killed. In mid-December, the "Martyr Muhannad Al-Halabi table tennis tournament" was held, sponsored by Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub, in which 14 teams participated. At the tournament's opening ceremony, Palestinian Table Tennis Association representative Radwan Al-Sharif said that Al-Halabi sacrificed his life and soul for the honor of the free women of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (meaning the Murabitat).[2]


The Martyr Muhannad Al-Halabi tournament, sponsored by "General Jibril Rajoub" (Image: Maannews.net December 19, 2015)

On October 30, 2015, the Martyr Yasser Arafat Youth Center held the "Muhannad Al-Halabi football tournament" in Ramallah governorate. The notice announcing the tournament bore the emblem of the "Palestinian State's Supreme Youth and Sports Council - the Martyr Yasser Arafat Youth Center,"[3] and the tournament was covered by the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. On November 2, 2015, the daily reported that the team from Bal'a had taken the cup. Khalil Abu 'Alba, director of the youth center, voiced his hope that the next tournament would be named for Palestine's liberation and independence.[4]

 
The announcement of the tournament and a photo from the games (Images: Alwatanvoice.com, November 1, 2015)

A November, 2015 football championship in Hebron was held in honor the Palestinian people's martyrs, especially those of the "National Awakening" (the PA's name for the current wave of violence), and in memory of Basel Sidr, who was killed on October 14, 2015 trying to stab an Israeli soldier near Jerusalem's Damascus Gate.[5]

PA Education Minister Attends Rally Of Solidarity With 13-Year-Old 'Hero' Ahmad Manasra, Who Stabbed A Boy In Jerusalem

On November 29, 2015, a high school in the Hebron governorate held a rally of solidarity with Ahmad Manasra, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who stabbed a boy his own age on October 12, 2015 in Jerusalem. The rally, held under the heading "Arresting Children Kills Childhood. Give Them the Time to Study and Play,"  was sponsored by the Palestinian Prisoners Commission, the PA Education Ministry and the Fatah movement, and was attended by Hebron governor Kamel Hmeid, PA Education Minister Sabri Saidam, Palestinian Prisoners Club chairman Qaddoura Fares, Fatah Revolutionary Council member Fahmi Al-Za'arir, Fatah secretary Kamal Makhamra, a delegation on behalf of the Prisoners Commission, members of Manasra's family and members of the family of Hassan Manasra, who also took part in the stabbing and was killed.

Education Minister Sabri Saidam spoke to the pupils about the meaning of loyalty and devotion to the martyrs, and added: "The object of [this] campaign is to direct world attention to the problems of the imprisoned children by encouraging students to send letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon headed 'The Hero Ahmad Manasra.'"

Saidam also paid a condolence call on the family of Muhammad Al-Shubaki from the Al-Fawar refugee camp, who was killed after stabbing a soldier.[6]

Another Education Ministry initiative involved a ceremony held at the Huda 'Abd Al-Nabi boy's elementary school in Hebron, in which a moment of silence was observed in memory of 18-year-old Mustafa Fanoun who was killed trying to stab a soldier at the Tel Rumeida checkpoint. The ceremony was attended by Education Bureau head Bassam Tahboub, representatives of the Teachers' Union and members of the Fanoun family.[7]

Another PA representative, Jenin Deputy Governor Kamal Abu Al-Rub, attended a ceremony organized by the General Union of Palestinian Women in the city. The ceremony was in solidarity with the mothers of martyrs and in protest of "the murder [of Palestinians] in cold blood at the checkpoints under the groundless security pretext [that they attempted to stab Israelis]."[8]

 

Endnotes:

 

[1] Zamnpress.com, Paltoday.tv, November 12, 2015.

[2] Maannews.net, December 19, 2015; Alquds.com, December 17, 2015. The Murabitat are women members of the Islamist Al-Murabitoun movement, who  stage vocal protests in the Al-Aqsa compound, especially to prevent Jews from praying there.  

[3] Alwatanvoice.com, November 1, 2015.

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), November 2, 2015; Palsport.com November 1, 2015.

[5] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), November 24, 2015.

[6] Al-Ayyam (PA), November 30, 2015; Alhaya.ps,  November 29, 2015.

[7] Al-Ayyam (PA), December 7, 2015.

[8] Amad.ps, November 5, 2015.