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October 4, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10245

Palestinian Authority, Fatah Glorify Fathi Khazem, Father Of Two Terrorists Killed In Clashes With Israeli Armed Forces: He Is A 'Palestinian Icon' And An Emblem Of Sacrifice

October 4, 2022
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 10245

On September 28, 2022, four Palestinian terrorists – 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Khazem, Ahmad 'Alawneh, Muhammad Barahama and Muhammad Abu Na'sa – who were wanted by Israel for planning terror attacks were killed in exchanges of fire with the Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp.[1] One of the four, Ahmad 'Alawneh, was an officer in the Palestinian Authority's (PA) military intelligence. Another, 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Khazem, was the brother of Ra'd Khazem, a member of Fatah's military wing who was killed in April 2022 after perpetrating a shooting in downtown Tel Aviv in which three Israeli civilians, Eytam Magini, Tomer Morad and Barak Lufan, were killed.

As on past occasions, PA and Fatah officials and media praised the terrorists and their actions, describing them as martyrs.[2] In addition, Fatah and PA officials paid condolence visits to their homes and lavished praise upon their families, especially on Fathi Khazem, the father of the two terrorists 'Abd Al-Rahman and Ra'd. Fathi Khazem is himself a former officer in the PA National Security Forces. Since the shooting attack carried out by his son Ra'd in Tel Aviv he has incited to perpetrate more attacks of this kind, and as a result he too is wanted by the Israeli security forces. In the recent days, after the death of his second son 'Abd Al-Rahman, he has been calling on the members of the Palestinian security forces to join the fighting against Israel. Palestinian papers and social media described him as "a new Palestinian icon," "an emblem of the struggle" against Israel, and a model of "sacrifice" worthy of being the "popular" president of Palestine.

A conspicuous aspect of the praise bestowed by Fatah on Fathi Khazem is the emphasis on his status as a former senior officer in the PA security forces. This is intended to encourage more members of these forces to take part in terrorism against Israel, a phenomenon that has become more prevalent recently.[3] It was even stressed that Fathi Khazem has shared his expertise with operatives in the Jenin refugee camp and that his home served as "a Fatah military school, whose graduates were fighters and fidayyoun."


Fathi Khazem with gunmen in Jenin refugee camp (Alquds.com, September 29, 2022)

This report reviews the praise lavished by the PA and Fatah on Fathi Khazem and on his sons and their actions.

Fathi Khazem: I Thank Allah For The Martyrdom Of My Sons, Urge Members Of PA Security Forces To Join This Path

Following the death of his second son, 'Abd Al-Rahman Khazem, in clashes with the Israeli security forces in Jenin, Fathi Khazem told the Al-Quds daily: "Praise Allah, 'Abd Al-Rahman and Ra'd were martyred for the sake of Allah, and for the sake of Palestine and Jerusalem. The only banner they raised was the banner of 'there is no God but Allah,' wishing to defend their faith, their land and their holy sites from this oppressive aggression and from the occupation, which attacks men, stones and trees [in Palestine]. But we are stronger than [the occupation] and will not surrender… Our young people will not give up, and they bow to Allah alone. They fight in a single [rank]… Today we exhort the youth of Palestine to rise up and defend their soil and their homeland… All the people of Palestine must support Jenin, which is standing fast and bleeding…"[4]

On another occasion, Fathi Khazem called on the PA security forces to direct their weapons at Israel, saying: "I urge you to turn to the path of Abu' Ammar [i.e., Yasser Arafat], of the sheikh of the jihad fighters, [Hamas founder] Ahmad Yassin, and of the sheikh of the resistance fighters, [Fathi] Al-Shqaqi, [founder of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad]…"[5]

Fatah Social Media Pages: Fathi Khazem Is An Emblem Of Sacrifice

Fatah spokespersons and officials lionized Fathi Khazem, stressing that he was a senior officer in the PA security forces yet also participates in the armed struggle against Israel and is one of the most senior figures wanted by Israel; moreover, he was responsible for raising two jihad-fighting sons. An image posted on Fatah's official Facebook page, for example, showed him in the company of gunmen in the Jenin refugee camp. The accompanying message referred to him as "the heroic general Fathi Khazem Abu Ra'd," who is "an emblem of struggle and forbearance."[6]

Munir Al-Jaroub, spokesperson of Fatah's Recruitment and Organization Commission, tweeted the same image with the message: "Allah, [give him] patience, strength and determination."[7]

Another set of graphics posted on Fatah's official Facebook page showed Fathi Khazem wearing the uniform of the PA National Defense Forces, and called him "a Palestinian icon," "one of the most senior figures in the West Bank wanted [by Israel]," a "paragon of sacrifice " who "gifted his sons Ra'd and 'Abd Al-Rahman to Palestine," a "heroic general" who shared his expertise with the fighters in the Jenin refugee camp and whose home was "a Fatah military school, whose graduates were fighters and fidayyoun," and an expert " recruiter of the masses" whose speeches "encouraged [Palestinians] to rise up against the occupation."[8]

Fatah's official Facebook page[9] and a Telegram channel affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade[10] posted additional graphics that eulogized three of the four terrorists ('Abd Al-Rahman Khazem, Ahmad 'Alawneh and Muhammad Barahama). Fatah in Jenin posted a eulogy stating that the martyrs had "ascended to heaven in a confrontation with the occupation forces in Jenin," and emphasized that 'Alawneh had been an officer in the PA military intelligence.

Another Fatah Facebook page posted a photo of the brothers Ra'd and 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Khazem armed with rifles, calling 'Abd Al-Rahman "a hero, the brother of a hero [Ra'd] and the son of a hero [Fathi]."[11]

Fatah Officials During Condolence Visit To Fathi Khazem: We Praise Your Struggle Against The Occupation; Fatah Provides Its Fighters With Everything They Need To Continue The Struggle

During a condolence visit to the Jenin refugee camp, Palestinian officials, and especially Fatah officials, embraced and commended Fathi Khazem and the families of the four terrorists, thereby legitimizing the actions of their sons. Fatah's Facebook page posted remarks made by Fatah Central Committee member 'Abbas Zaki during his meeting with Fathi Khazem: "Fatah's Central Committee provides the movement's fighters in Jenin with everything they need, so as to strengthen them and encourage them to continue the struggle against the Zionist occupation," he said.[12]

An image posted on this Facebook page on October 1 shows 'Abbas Zaki with Latifa Abu Hmeid, the mother of six Fatah terrorists that were involved in shooting and suicide attacks against Israeli civilians, who is extolled by Fatah as an emblem of sacrifice,[13] and with Fathi Khazem and Central Committee member Dallal Salameh. Behind them is an armed member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. [14]

Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Al-Tirawi; 'Ata Abu Rmeileh, secretary of Fatah's Jenin branch, and PLO Executive Committee members 'Azzam Al-Ahmad and Wasel Abu Yousuf also made condolence visits to the terrorists' families. Photos from the visits posted to Facebook by Tawfiq Al-Tirawi show the flags of Fatah and the PIJ, and posters bearing the portraits of the terrorists and the emblems of the two movements' military wings, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Al-Quds Brigades.

PLO Executive Committee member and Fatah Central Committee member 'Azzam Al-Ahmad said during one of the visits: "Our people has the right to resist and oppose the crimes of the occupation by all the means that are recognized by the international norms and conventions. I commend the struggle and the sacrifices of the people of Jenin province, and their stand against occupation."[15]

Palestinian officials visit the terrorists' families (Facebook.com/T.Tirawi, September 29, 2022)

Palestinian Press Glorifies The Terrorists And Fathi Khazem

Praise for the four terrorists and for Fathi Khazem was also conspicuously expressed in the Palestinian press. The front page of the September 29 issue of the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida featured photos of Fathi Khazem and of the terrorists, with the text "they attacked [the enemy] and did not flee."[16]

Palestinian Journalist: Fathi Khazem Is The New Palestinian Icon, Worthy Of Being Palestine's "Popular" President

Journalist Hamdi Farraj devoted his October 1 column in the Palestinian daily Al-Quds to Fathi Khazem. Titled "Abu Ra'd, The New Palestinian Icon," the column stated: "A new Palestinian icon has made his way among the tribulations of life, on the long [path] towards the far future, earning esteem, being crowned [with glory] and going down in history as Abu Ra'd… What has this giant done to become a Palestinian icon[?]… [Even] when he lost his second son, 'Abd Al-Rahman, he remained strong, restrained and full of faith. No tears fell from his eyes and his lip did not tremble as he said, 'Oh Allah, I am pleased with [my son]. May You be pleased with him [also]'… Israel has expressed a growing concern about members of the PA [security] apparatuses joining the dens of the resistance, not only in Jenin, but also in Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah. Israel no doubt thinks Abu Ra'd plays some role in this, for he is a former officer with experience, connections and influence, who was the father of a martyr and is now the father of two…

"This giant is worthy of being officially recognized as Palestine's popular president. He is a leader through and through, a fighter willing to die as a martyr, an altruist, clean of hand and tongue, stronger and more enduring than the very mountains…"[17]


Fathi Khazem in the daily cartoon of Al-Quds daily (Alquds.com, September 29, 2022)

Article In Palestinian Daily Al-Ayyam: The Four Men Attained Their Hearts' Desire – To Die As Martyrs

An October 1, 2022 article in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam stated: "The four martyrs shot to death by the occupation in Jenin refugee camp… all had the same wish, because all four of them yearned for martyrdom and attained it. Several days before his death, the martyr 'Abd Al-Rahman Fathi Khazem was asked by a journalist what the [greatest] desire of his life was, and he replied without hesitation: 'I want to join Ra'd,' meaning his 30-year-old brother, the martyr Ra'd Khazem, who carried out the attack in Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv last April…

"On the last night of his life, the martyr Muhammad Abu Na'sa posted a message on his Facebook page in which he wrote: 'Every night I beseech God to honor me [with martyrdom], not because I am worthy of it, but my God is generous… One of the martyr's friends said… that he used to lead the young people in confronting the occupation and that he was the first to attain the martyrdom he always yearned for…

"The story of the martyr Muhammad Mahmoud Barahama… is different. He had just finished preparing for the wedding of his sister, [which was supposed to take place] the next day… This martyr's brother said of him that 'Muhammad loved life although he yearned for martyrdom. He prepared for his sister's wedding with the enthusiasm of youth… and did not know that his own nuptials [to the Virgins of Paradise] would come sooner…[18] He added: "The occupation gifted us with another cause for celebration in addition to my sister's wedding, namely my brother's martyrdom'…

"The martyr Ahmad Al-Nazmi 'Alawneh, who was an officer in the [Palestinian] military intelligence, wrote on Facebook several hours before his martyrdom: 'Oh, I wish I had been with them so I could have attained a great attainment' [Quran 4:73][19] Social media activists circulated a video of 'Alawneh in which he is asked what his aspirations are and answers without hesitation: "I want to die as a martyr."[20]

 

[1] Alaraby.co.uk, /qudsn.co, September 28, 2022. There is some lack of clarity about the organizational affiliation of the terrorists, which apparently reflects a blurring of the boundaries between the organizations active in the northern West Bank. Fatah stated that Al-Khazem, Alawneh and Barahama had belonged to its military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (T.me/elaqsa_1965, September 28, 2022). However, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) stated that all four men had been members of its military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, and that Al-Khazem was in fact a founder of a "special force" of the Al-Quds Brigades in the Jenin refugee camp (saraya.ps, September 28, 2022). For a similar case, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10152 - Palestinian Press Glorifies Mother Of Terrorist Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, Who Expressed Pride And Joy Over Her Son's Martyrdom – August 22, 2022.

[2] See MEMRI reports: Special Dispatch No. 9887 - Fatah Celebrates Terror Attack In Central Tel Aviv – April 8, 2022; Special Dispatch No. 9896 - Fatah Officials Pay Condolence Calls To Families Of Terrorists From Jenin Who Carried Out Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv Attacks – April 13, 2022.

[3] For example, in a similar incident in Jenin last June, two officers of the PA military intelligence, Adham 'Aliwi and Taysir Al-'Issa, were killed in clashes with the Israeli security forces, along with Jamil Al-'Amouri, an activist in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Wafa.ps, saraya.ps, June 10, 2021. For more in this phenomenon, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10207 - Last Will Of Terrorist Who Belonged To Palestinian Authority Security Forces: Martyrdom Is The Highest Ideal; Continue The Jihad And Armed Struggle Against The Enemy – September 15, 2022.

[4] Alquds.com, September 29, 2022.

[5] Qudsn.co, September 29, 2022.

[6] Facebook.com/officialfateh1965, September 28, 2022.

[7] Twitter.com/MonirAljaghoub, September 28, 2022.

[8] Facebook.com/officialfateh1965, September 30, 2022.

[9] Facebook.com/officialfateh1965, September 28, 2022.

[10] T.me/elaqsa_1965, September 28, 2022.

[11] Facebook.com/palestfatehh1965, September 28, 2022.

[12] Facebook.com/officialfateh1965, September 28, 2022.

[14] Facebook.com/officialfateh1965, October 1, 2022.

[15] Wafa.ps, September 30, 2022.

[16] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), September 29, 2022.

[17] Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), October 1, 2022.

[18] On the Islamic belief that the martyr weds 72 Virgins of Paradise, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 74 - '72 Black Eyed Virgins': A Muslim Debate on the Rewards of Martyrs – November , 2001.

[19] This verse is part of a passage dealing with the rewards of those who are martyred for the sake of Allah, whether they win the battle or lose it.

[20] Al-Ayyam (PA), October 1, 2022.

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