November 1, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6661

Palestinian Social Media Reacts To Shooting Attack At Beit El Carried Out By Palestinian Policeman: Praise For Attacker, Calls For Other Palestinian Security Personnel To Carry Out Further Attacks

November 1, 2016
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 6661

On October 31, 2016, Muhammad 'Abd Al-Khaleq Turkman, a 25-year-old Palestinian policeman, carried out a shooting attack at a checkpoint in Beit El, wounding three Israeli soldiers, one of them seriously. Turkman's brother Rabi'a, who was killed in 2011, was an official in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and the Popular Resistance Committees, and was active in confrontations with Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada.[1]

Following the attack, Palestinian social media users posted images and banners praising Turkman and his attack. Such posts also appeared on the Facebook pages of Fatah offices in the West Bank, and even on Fatah's official Facebook page, which referred to Turkman as "the hero martyr."

Facebook pages associated with Hamas featured calls for Palestinian security forces personnel to carry out similar attacks as part of the current Al-Quds Intifada that began in October 2015. Social networks also saw use of the hashtags "The Resisting Policeman" and "The Martyr Policeman."

Following are examples of images posted following the attack:

Official Fatah Facebook Pages Praise "Hero Martyr Muhammad Turkman"

Following the attack, the official Fatah Facebook page featured a poster showing images of Muhammad Turkman against the backdrop of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The poster, which was shared by the Facebook pages of Fatah offices in Tulkarm, Bethlehem, the town of 'Illar, and central Khan Yunis, stated: "Martyr policeman Muhammad Turkman, an officer with Palestinian police special forces, perpetrator of the shooting operation near the Beit El checkpoint that wounded three Israeli soldiers." The Facebook pages shared the poster using various hashtags such as "Martyr Policeman," "Member of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah," "Member of Palestinian Authority Apparatus," and "Honorable President Mahmoud Abbas's Man."[2]

The poster on the official Fatah Facebook page

Additionally, the official Fatah Facebook page also posted an image of Turkman with a rifle by his side. The post read: "Young martyr Muhammad 'Abd Al-Khaleq Turkman from the town of Qabatiya, perpetrator of the shooting operation that wounded three soldiers at the Beit El checkpoint in Ramallah. The martyr is a military man working for Palestinian police security [forces]."[3]

The picture was reposted an hour later with text stating "The Fatah movement in Qabatiya is using loudspeakers to eulogize its son, hero martyr Muhammad Turkman, who carried out the 'Beit El' operation tonight."[4]

Fatah in Qabatiya reports on eulogies for "hero martyr Muhammad Turkman"

Hamas Facebook Pages Call On Palestinian Security Apparatus Members To Carry Out More Attacks

The Facebook page of the Palestinian news agency Shihab, which is affiliated with Hamas, posted a Hamas graphic welcoming Muhammad 'Abd Al-Khaleq Turkman's operation and calling on more Palestinian security apparatus elements to get involved in the Intifada. It stated: "The Hamas movement welcomes the operation by the martyr Muhammad Turkman, an officer in the police apparatus, and views it as a powerful message in dealing with the crimes of the occupation. The movement calls on more members of the Palestinian security [apparatuses] to join the Palestinian Intifada. #The Resisting Policeman."[5]

Hamas graphic posted on Shihab Facebook page

The Facebook page of one of Hamas's websites, PALDF, posted a graphic with Turkman's photo along with photos of Palestinian security apparatus members who had carried out previous attacks against Israel during the Al-Quds Intifada. They included Mazan Hasan Ariva, a PA intelligence officer who opened fire on Israeli soldiers at the Hizma checkpoint on December 3, 2015,[6] and Amjad Al-Sukari, a security forces member, who did likewise at the Beit El checkpoint on January 31, 2016.[7] Next to Turkman's photo was a graphic with a question mark captioned "Who will be next?"

Graphic posted on Hamas's PALDF Facebook page

Posters praising Turkman were also shared by the local Facebook pages of Palestinian towns, as well as Palestinian news pages. One poster shared by the "Palestine News At Any Moment" Facebook page, which deals with Palestinian news and posts Hamas-related content, praised Turkman's attack and stated that his reward for it would be a ticket to Paradise. The poster reads: "We, men of the [West] Bank, came to die as martyrs. This shooting is for you, mother, and with it I will pass through the gates of Paradise. Here they are, here they are, here they are - peerless heroes."[8]

"We, men of the [West] Bank, came to die as martyrs"




[1] Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), November 1, 2016.

[2], October 31, 2016;, November 1, 2016;, October 31, 2016;, November 1, 2016;, November 1, 2016.

[3], October 31, 2016.

[4], October 31, 2016.

[5], October 31, 2016.

[6], December 3, 2015.

[7], January 31, 2016.

[8], October 31, 2016.

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