January 10, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8485

Palestinian Authority, Fatah Hold Military Training Camp For Girls, Named After Imprisoned Terrorist Karim Younis

January 10, 2020
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 8485

The Palestinian Authority's National Security Forces (NSF) and the Fatah movement recently held a training camp for high school girls, at which the participants wore military-style uniforms and took part in various activities, some of them military, such as training with mock weapons.[1] The camp was named after Karim Younis, an Israeli Arab who is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier in 1980.[2] Younis, who is the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody, and has served 38 years of his 40-year prison term, is greatly revered by Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA). In 2017 he was even elected to Fatah's Central Committee, and PA officials refer to him as "the eldest of the prisoners."

To mark the 38th anniversary of his imprisonment, and as part of promoting the ethos of armed struggle against Israel, Fatah websites and the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published statements and articles praising him,[3] while stressing the commitment of PA President and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud 'Abbas to continuing the payments to the prisoners and the martyrs' families.[4] 

This document reviews the reports on the Karim Younis training camp, and a statement issued by Fatah in his honor.

Participants hold up a poster bearing the name of the camp, with a portrait of Karim Younis flanked by those of Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas and Yasser Arafat (Source:, January 7, 2020)

Military Training Activities At Karim Younis Camp

The three-day camp, held at the Al-Nu'eima base, was attended by 93 high school girls active in the Fatah movement,[5]  and its launching ceremony, on January 5, was attended by Fatah and PA officials.[6] Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazzal said that the objective of training the girls was to build up their discipline, with an eye to their future recruitment to the NSF.[7] At the camp's graduation ceremony, Fatah Central Committee member 'Abbas Zaki stressed the importance of such camps for "strengthening the national spirit and true loyalty to the homeland," and praised "the struggles of the imprisoned commander Karim Younis."[8]

As stated, the camp participants wore military-style uniforms and took part in military activities, under the guidance of NSF commanders, including a nighttime march, drilling exercises, training with police dogs, training with mock rifles, joining NSF motor patrols in the city of Jericho and rappelling from a tower. [9] Below are pictures:

Nighttime march (source:, January 5, 2020)

Posing with mock rifles (source:, January 8, 2020)

Rappelling from a tower (, January 7, 2020)

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-'Aloul addressing the camp participants (source:, January 6, 2020)

Fatah Central Committee ' member Abbas Zaki (second from left) and Fatah Nablus branch secretary Jihad Ramadan (first from left) hand out graduation certificates to the participants (source:, January 8, 2020)

Praise for Karim Younis On Fatah Websites And In PA Daily: "Deep Faith In The Principles Of Struggle"

On the 38th anniversary of Karim Younis's imprisonment, Fatah's Information, Culture, and Ideology Commission issued a statement saying: "The Palestinian National Liberation Movement [Fatah] underscores its commitment to the principle and the goal of freeing the prisoners, and sees the liberation of the fighters and commanders from the occupation's prisons as a sacred national cause that cannot be relinquished or bargained over... The position of the president of the [Palestinian] state and commander[-in-chief] of the Fatah [movement], Mahmoud 'Abbas Abu Mazen, regarding the continued payment of allowances and [social] benefits to the prisoners and the martyrs' families is the best proof of [his] steadfastness and adherence to national principles... Fatah praises the legendary steadfastness of the imprisoned fighters and leaders, and regards the brothers [Karim] and Maher Younis's defiance of the occupation from their prison cells as the best proof of the depth of their faith in the principles of fighting and struggle..."[10]

Post on official Fatah Facebook page: Karim Younis – "the world's longest-serving prisoner" (, January 5, 2020)

Article on Karim Younis in PA daily (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 7, 2020)


[2], January 5, 2020.

[3] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida articles praising Karim Younis were published on January 7, 2020. On past PA actions honoring Karim Younis and his cousin Maher Younis, who was his partner in the crime, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7980 - Palestinian Authority, Fatah Continue Official Support And Encouragement Of Armed Struggle Against Israel – April 2, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 7282 - Palestinian Authority Honors Two Prisoners Serving Life Sentences For Kidnapping, Murder Of Israeli Soldier; Representative For PA President 'Abbas: 'The Two Prisoners Are A National Example' – January 16, 2018.

[5], January 7, 2020.

[6], January 6, 2020.

[7], January 5, 2020.

[8], January 8, 2020.

[9], January 8, 2020.

[10], January 6, 2020.

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