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January 25, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9735

Palestinian Authority, Headed By Mahmoud 'Abbas, Continues To Praise Mother Of Six Terrorists: You Are Our Pride And Glory

January 25, 2022
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9735

Latifa Abu Hmeid is the mother of six Fatah and Hamas terrorists who were involved in deadly attacks on Israelis. She has been dubbed "The Khansa of Palestine," after the early Islamic poet Al-Khansa Bint 'Amr, who is called "the Mother of the Martyrs" because when her four sons died in the battle of Al-Qadasiyya (637) she did not mourn them but thanked Allah for honoring her with their deaths. Abu Hmeid is treated as an emblematic figure by Fatah and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials, especially by Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas, who frequently visit and host her, and lavish praise upon her.[1]  

Abu Hmeid's six sons were involved in shooting and suicide attacks. 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's 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 attempted murders. Sharif was active in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and supplied weapons and assistance for the perpetration 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. The sixth son, Islam, is serving a life sentence for killing an Israeli soldier in May 2018, after in 2004-2009 he served time for involvement in Hamas shooting attacks.

On January 12, 2022, PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas received Latifa Abu Hmeid in his office in Ramallah, as he has done many times in the past. Speaking about her son Nasser, he ignored the latter's involvement in the  murder of Israelis but mentioned that he has cancer and accused Israel of neglecting his health. He added that the issue of the prisoners is a top priority for the Palestinian leadership, which will never give up their rights despite all the pressures on it.[2] At a January 4, 2022 meeting of Fatah's Revolutionary Council in Ramallah, 'Abbas praised the Abu Hmeid family for its steadfastness and sacrifice, and expressed hope that Nasser Abu Hmeid will make a full recovery and be released from prison.[3]

The PA mouthpiece Al-Hayat Al-Jadida recently published several articles glorifying Latifa Abu Hmeid, calling her a "Palestinian national emblem" and a "heroine" who "nursed her sons on the milk of heroism, honor and pure nationalism until they became unparalleled knights on the path of resistance." The articles also accused Israel of responsibility for Nasser Abu Hmeid's medical condition, and one of them, by Fatah Revolutionary Council member Muwaffaq Matar, even claimed that Israel "deliberately plants" cancer in the bodies of Palestinian prisoners.


PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas and Latifa Abu Hmeid during their January 12 meeting (Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, PA, January 13, 2022)

The following are translated excerpts from two articles about Latifa Abu Hmeid in the PA mouthpiece Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Editorial: Latifa Abu Hmeid Is An Emblem And Model Who Nursed Her Sons On The Milk Of Heroism, Honor And Nationalism

The January 13, 2022 editorial of the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida daily said: "Umm Nasser Abu Hmeid is a Palestinian heroine, not only because she nursed her sons on the milk of heroism, honor and pure nationalism until they became unparalleled knights on the path of resistance, but because she strengthens our confidence and certainty that it is impossible to break the Palestinian determination. [This determination] will triumph, thanks to steadfastness of the kind that we witness today in Umm Nasser, whose heart is filled with the faith of one who seeks divine reward and wishes solely to please Allah and the homeland.

"Today Arab culture must renew its [commitment to the] role models of steadfastness and daring and read closely the epic biography of Umm Nasser in this context. Her steadfastness is akin to that of Al-Khansa, [namely] Tumaḍir Bint 'Amr Ibn Al-Ḥarith Ibn Al-Sharid Al-Sulamiya. Her steadfastness is not mixed with broken sobs or with a lament carried on the back of heavy tragedy, but is the steadfastness of daring and of challenge, of certainty in the inevitability of victory, which, even if it tarries, will surely come.

"We understand, of course, that Umm Nasser's steadfastness is not without pain and sorrow, and we may discern the glimmer [of a tear] in her eye when she sees the empty beds of her six sons in the rooms of her home, beds that were emptied by the occupation when it arrested them. This pain no doubt grows when she sees her dear Nasser very ill, in the grip of the tyrannical Israeli jailor who does not provide him with the medical care he needs, even though it is [Israel's] responsibility to do so according to every human, legal and moral law!  

"It is this noble pain in a noble heart, and this undefeated spirit and free will, that turn this lady [Umm Nasser] into an emblem and underscore the purity of her pain. She is the emblem of our people today, and the world will surely understand the meaning of true resistance thanks to the steadfastness of this woman, [who maintains] her fortitude in the face of all this pain, without any despair, frustration, collapse, or tears of defeat. Hail [Umm Nasser], full of mother's love, yours is the our glory, ours is the pride, and Palestine's is the history and exemplary tales."[4] 

Fatah Official And Columnist In PA Daily: Israel "Deliberately Plants" Cancer In Palestinian Prisoners

Muwaffaq Matar, a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council and a columnist for the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, likewise wrote an article praising Latifa Abu Hmeid and her sons, and accused Israel of deliberately causing Palestinian prisoners to become ill with cancer "in some way or other." He wrote: "This Palestinian woman is the mother of six heroes, five of whom – Jihad, Nasser, Sharif, Nasr and Muhammad – are incarcerated in the prisons of the imperialist racist Israeli occupation, while the sixth, 'Abd Al-Mun'im, is a martyr. She has been dubbed 'the Khansa of Palestine' and 'the Oak of Palestine,' and is a national emblem. The leader of Fatah and president of the Palestinian people, Abu Mazen [Mahmoud 'Abbas], showed his respect and appreciation by kissing the head of this paragon of steadfastness, fortitude and sacrifice, Latifa Muhammad Naji Abu Hmeid, known as Umm Nasser Abu Hmeid. We believe that every one of the 14 million Palestinians or more, in the homeland and outside it, is yearning for the moment they get to witness the determination, honor, strength, hope and victory [that shine out from] her face…   

"The racist occupying Zionists are now again burning Umm Nasser's heart over a slow flame. Having already killed her son 'Abd Al-Mun'im, they are now letting her eldest son, the prisoner Al-Nasser, be consumed by a deadly cancer that resembles them in every detail and in its essence. For they are like a cancer, which invades as many living beings as possible in order to spread and cause death...

"The narrators of history have discovered that the Palestinian prisoner has a magical supernatural power that allows him to cultivate a personal and collective national awareness after implementing the fateful decision [to carry out the operation for which he was imprisoned], willingly and following [careful] planning. By doing so he shatters not only the shackles, the metal bars and the darkness of the dungeon, but the very notion of imprisonment, proving that the oppressing Israeli terrorist cannot break his spirit and curb his will to rise up and seek freedom, even when he is in shackles. This is what [the Israelis] are now doing to the prisoner Abu Hmeid, who remains in chains even though he is unconscious due to two [kinds of] cancer. One [kind of cancer] is human – [namely,] the racist Zionist Israeli occupier, who attacks any Palestinian, Arab and freedom-lover. The other [kind of cancer] is a natural [disease] which the first creature [i.e., the Israeli] deliberately plants, in some way or another, in the bodies of prisoners that have adopted the path of struggle seeking to restore their people's freedom and liberate their homeland. We Palestinians are proud… that we have a school that teaches steadfastness, namely the honorable lady Umm Nasser Abu Hmeid…"[5]    


Illustration of Latifa Abu Hmeid and her sons on the Twitter page of Mounir Al-Jaghoub, the spokesman of Fatah's Recruitment and Organization Commission (Twitter.com/MonirAljaghoub, January 13, 2022)

 

[2] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), January 13, 2022. About PA economic support for Palestinian prisoners, families of prisoners, and "martyrs," see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7583, Palestinian Authority (PA) President 'Abbas: 'If We Had Only A Single Penny Left, We Would Pay It To Families Of The Martyrs And Prisoners', July 24, 2018.

For more on PA payments to the families of prisoners and martyrs families, see MEMRI reports:

Special Dispatch No.8042, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Palestinian Authority Facing Financial Crisis, But We Refuse To Accept Money From Israel If Salary Of Martyrs' Families Is Deducted, May 1, 2019;

Special Dispatch No.7980, Palestinian Authority, Fatah Continue Official Support And Encouragement Of Armed Struggle Against Israel, April 2, 2019;

Special Dispatch No.7736, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: We Will Continue To Pay The Families Of Martyrs, Prisoners, And The Wounded; There Are Six Million Palestinian Refugees, October 30, 2018;

Clip No. 6179, Former Chief Palestinian Negotiator Nabil Shaath: We Will Not Stop Payment To Prisoners And Their Families, August 27, 2017;

Inquiry and Analysis No. 1321, Palestinian Authority, PLO Officials: Allowances To Prisoners Will Continue; 'This Issue Is Not Subject To U.S.-Israeli Extortion,' June 16, 2017;

Special Dispatch No. 7070, Palestinian Media Stresses: President Mahmoud 'Abbas Refuses To Halt Payments To Prisoners, Families Of Martyrs, August 28, 2017;

Special Dispatch No. 7001, 'Abbas, PA Officials, Reaffirm Commitment To Continue Paying Allowances To Prisoners And Martyrs' Families, July 10, 2017;

Inquiry and Analysis No. 1327, 2017 Palestinian Authority Budget Shows: Salaries, Benefits For Prisoners, Released Prisoners Several Times Higher Than Welfare For Needy, August 22, 2017.

The allowances paid by the PA to incarcerated and released prisoners and to the families of "martyrs" were described in detail by MEMRI President Yigal Carmon in his July 6, 2016 testimony before the U.S. Congress. See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 97, MEMRI President Yigal Carmon's Testimony To House Committee On Foreign Affairs, July 6, 2016: Palestinian Authority Support For Imprisoned, Released, And Wounded Terrorists And Families Of 'Martyrs,' July 6, 2016.

[3] Wafa.ps, January 4, 2022.

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), January  13, 2022.

[5] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), January 16, 2022.

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