memri
April 27, 2015 Special Dispatch No. 6035

Palestinian Responses To Attacks In Jerusalem Area: Palestinian Authority – Attacks Are An Israeli Fabrication; Hamas – The Attackers Are Martyrs; On Social Media, Calls For Intifada In Jerusalem

April 27, 2015
, Palestine, Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 6035

In recent days several terrorist attacks have taken place in the Jerusalem and Hebron area: a stabbing in Hebron in which a border police officer was moderately wounded, an attempted stabbing of a female police officer at the Al-Za'im checkpoint, a firebomb attack on the Jerusalem-Modi'in road, and a vehicular attack in Al-Tur in East Jerusalem in which three police officers were injured. In addition, there were riots and clashes between residents and security forces in East Jerusalem. [1]    

The Palestinian Authority (PA) reacted to the stabbing incidents, in which both stabbers were killed, by condemning Israel. It claimed that the stabbings had been fabricated by Israel to justify the "racially motivated assassination" of the two Palestinians, and Fatah described the killing of Abu Ghannam as an act of "organized terror". Hamas, for its part, praised the attacks.

Voices on Palestinian social media likewise welcomed the attacks, praised their perpetrators and called to escalate the armed struggle against Israel and to launch a comprehensive intifada. Most of these calls did not come from figures or bodies associated with official Palestinian organizations. Rather, they appear to be calls by private individuals urging an uprising and expressing support for the attacks, which had likewise been perpetrated by single individuals acting on their own, without direction from any organization.

PA: These Are Israeli Fabrications Meant To Drag The Region Into A Cycle Of Violence

The PA foreign ministry condemned what it called the "assassination" of the "martyr" Abu Ghannam, describing it as  "a crime against humanity, a formal invitation by Israel to [enter] a cycle of violence, and a violent [Israeli] counter-reaction meant to avoid [making] peace." It added that "the assassination of the 17-year-old 'Ali Abu Ghannam from Jerusalem, who was murdered in cold blood," was "an integral part of the roster of ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people, [crimes] which the PA intends to refer to the International Criminal Court." The ministry held Israel and its prime minister fully responsible for the "barbaric and racist crime" and called on the international community to condemn it and to "punish the perpetrators."[2]

The PA presidency likewise condemned "the crime perpetrated by the Israeli occupation soldiers... under the fabricated excuse of [thwarting] an attempted stabbing of an Israeli soldier at the Al-Za'im checkpoint." The statement said further that the incident "exposes the ugly face of the occupation, its crimes against the helpless Palestinian people and the baseless excuses it invents to justify its crimes."[3]

The PA presidency issued a similar response after the stabbing of the soldier in Hebron, in which the stabber, Mahmoud Abu Juhaisha, was killed, saying: "This is a grave and systematic escalation by the occupation government, intended to drag the region into a cycle of violence. This Israeli crime, the second in 24 hours, comes on top of the occupation's previous crimes and will not go unpunished."[4]

A statement issued by Fatah called Abu Ghannam's killing "organized terror" and said that Israel is motivated by racism and that its soldiers are impulsive and "bloodthirsty."[5] Abu Ghannam's father denied that his son had attempted to stab the police officer, saying that someone who means to carry out a stabbing does not run at his target openly brandishing a knife.[6]


Abu Ghannam's mother holds up a poster of him printed by Fatah following his death (Facebook.com/fatehal3sfh, April 26, 2015)

Hamas Welcomes The Attacks, Calls For Intifada

Hamas welcomed the stabbing in Hebron and the vehicular attack in Al-Tur. Its spokesman, Hussam Bardan, said: "Hamas welcomes all forms of resistance in the West Bank and East Jerusalem... These operations were unique [acts of] heroism and courage that deserve everyone's appreciation and respect... They demonstrate that the residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem adhere to the option of resistance... The occupation can expect further surprises in the future from the people and from the men of resistance."[7]


Badran's statement on Hamas' Ajnad News Twitter page (Twitter.com/ajnadnews, April 26, 2015)

Hamas websites and Facebook pages also praised the attacks and called for an armed intidfada in response to the incidents in the Jerusalem area. The following are examples: 

     
On Hamas website: "Hamas welcomes the stabbing and vehicular operations in Jerusalem and Hebron" (Hamas.ps, April 26, 2015)


Hamas notice "proudly announces the nuptials[8] of the heroic martyr Mahmoud Yahya Abu Juhaisha" (Twitter.com/ajnadnews, April 26, 2015)


Posting on Facebook page of Hamas' Al-Risalah daily: "Jerusalem is rising up: clashes with the occupation are escalating" (Facebook.com/alresalahNet?fref=ts, April 26, 2015)

Calls For Intifada On Facebook Pages Of West Bank Villages

Hamas' daily Al-Risala reported on the clashes between residents and security forces in East Jerusalem under the heading "Al-Quds [Jerusalem] Launches an Intifada".[9] A Hamas-affiliated website reported that mosque preachers in Al-Tur had called Abu Ghannam a hero.[10]

Facebook pages of Palestinian villages in the West Bank also supported the attacks and called for escalating the armed struggle. An announcement signed by the "Movement of Jerusalem Youth," posted on a Facebook page called "Al-Tur-Mount of Olives," said: "We call upon all the young people in the neighborhoods around Al-Tur to [launch] an intifada, to support their brothers in Al-Tur... and ease the pressure on them... The Movement of Jerusalem Youth... is ready to respond to the crimes of this enemy. We also call on all young people to initiate clashes in all the points of friction throughout Jerusalem, [as well as] in all other areas. This is a revolution and the third intifada in Jerusalem, and it will never abate."[11]


Announcement of the "Movement of Jerusalem Youth" on the Al-Tur Facebook page


Banner on another Facebook page, called "Al-Tur-Mount of Olives Village": "It's Time for an Intifada" (Facebook.com, April 24, 2015)


Facebook page of Shu'afat refugee camp near Jerusalem: "Sow revolution... and reap a homeland" (Facebook.com, April 26, 2015)


Facebook page of Al-Khader village south of Bethlehem: "Free offer for the Jews: choose how you want to die - by car, fire, stabbing or gunfire" (Facebook.com/AlKhader, April 26, 2015)


"Beit Oula News Agency" Facebook page: "A Palestinian passed this way - such is the fate of the oppressors" (Facebook.com, April 26, 2015)


Posting on "Ras Al-'Amoud - Palm Square" Facebook page says: "Palm Square will witness violent clashes in solidarity with the martyr Abu Ghannam. Rest in peace, hero." (Facebook.com, April 26, 2015)


Another posting from the same page: "Places where there are currently clashes with the occupation army; reinforcements are needed in Jerusalem; [this is] the third intifada. Tomorrow Jerusalem will be a battle zone, Allah willing." (Facebook.com, April 26, 2015)


Facebook page of Al-'Issawiya village near Jerusalem: "O son of a Jew, hide your soldiers. The vehicular attacks and stabbings continue, a kidnapping is on the way" (Facebook.com/esawiah1, April 26, 2015)  


Posting on Facebook page of Al-'Azariya village near Jerusalem links to song titled "We are the Revolution and the Fury" (Facebook.com/EzariyaBethany, April 25, 2015)


Facebook page of Sa'ir village near Hebron area celebrates attacks and clashes in Hebron and Jerusalem area with the headline "Allah Akbar, O son of Jerusalem, shoot the [Jewish] gangs, run [them] over, stab [them] and terrorize [them]" Facebook.com, April 26, 2015)

Posters, Banners On Social Media Call For Third Intifada In Jerusalem

Social media users responded to the incidents by launching hashtags, including "This is Jerusalem," "This is Palestine" and "Jerusalem Launching an Intifada," and opening new Facebook pages, such as the "Jerusalem Revolution" page. Especially prominent on social media were posters and banners celebrating the attacks in Jerusalem and calling for further violence. These were posted both by official bodies and by private individuals. The following are examples:


"Car Intifada - Da'es"[12] (Facebook.com, April 26, 2015)


 "Prepare your weapon, O hero" (Facebook.com, April 26, 2015)


"Fight - even by means of your car" (Facebook.com, April 26, 2015)


Image captioned "Stab" shows two possible weapons: a knife and a screwdriver (Facebook.com, April 25, 2015)


Image on Hamas' Ajnad News Twitter page shows various weapons and items that can be used as weapons, with the caption "Action" (Twitter.com/ajnadnews, April 26, 2015)


 Image on Facebook page associated with the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, captioned "Jerusalem -Our Promised Destination," shows Al-Qassam fighter advancing towards Jerusalem (Facebook.com/Gaza.Pal2, April 26, 2015)


Image on Hamas' Ajnad News Twitter page shows Jerusalem with caption: "Resist, do not hesitate. Fight, victory is certain" (Twitter.com/ajnadnews, April 25, 2015)


Image on Hamas' Ajnad News Twitter says "Stab" (Twitter.com/ajnadnews, April 25, 2015)

 

Endnotes:

[1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), April 26, 2015.

[2] Paltoday.ps,  April 25, 2015.

[3] Paltoday.ps,  April 25, 2015.

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), April 26, 2015, Al-Risala (Gaza), April 25, 2015.

[5] Paltoday.ps,  April 25, 2015.

[6] Palinfo.com, April 25, 2015.

[7] Palinfo.com, April 26, 2015.

[8] This refers to a martyr's marriage to the 72 Virgins of Paradise.

[9] Alresalah.ps, April 26, 2015.

[10] Palinfo.com, April 25, 2015.

[11] Facebook.com/altourjblalzeton, April 26, 2015.

[12] Da'es means "run over" in Arabic, and is also a play on the word Da'esh, the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (ISIS).

Share this Report: