Following the March 17, 2019 terror attack near the town of Salfit in the West Bank, in which two Israelis were killed, the Qatari press lavished praise on the attacker, 'Omar Abu Laila, who was later killed in a shootout with Israeli forces that came to arrest him. Calling him "a legendary hero" and "a teacher for the future generations," the articles expressed support for terror and armed operations as means of struggle against Israel. They also praised Abu Laila's willingness to sacrifice his life, stressing that martyrdom for the sake of Palestine is a commendable act.
The following are excerpts from some of the articles:
Cartoon in Qatari Al-Arab daily: Israeli soldier terrified by the "Salfit operation"
Qatari Journalist: Self-Sacrifice For The Sake Of Palestine Is A Noble Act
In a March 25 article in the Qatari Al-Sharq daily, titled "Abu Laila Is an Emblem of Martyrdom," journalist Ahmad Al-Maghawri wrote that Palestine and Jerusalem are not to be bargained over or bartered as part of the "Deal of the Century," and that self-sacrifice for the sake of Palestine is a commendable measure that the Palestinians are willing to take. He wrote: "Palestine is not just a homeland, but a belief that lives in the hearts of its [people], men like 'Omar Abu Laila who have never and will never abandon it as the cowardly agents [i.e., Arab countries that are normalizing relations with Israel] have done.
"The sacrifice of life and wealth for the sake of justice is a small [price to pay], for justice requires [even] more than that. [Palestine] – the land of the prophets, the gate of heaven and the place of [Muhammad's] Night Journey – is Muslim waqf land, not a single grain of which can be relinquished... The land of Palestine is planted in the heart of the [Muslim] nation... and Jerusalem, like all of Palestine, is not to be sold, bargained over or bartered as part of some degrading deal, the Deal of the Century. If it is put up for sale, the men of the nation will be willing to pay with their lives and their blood [to prevent this]. Therefore we have scheduled a meeting with a different deal, a dear and noble one, a meeting with Allah, who said [in Quran 9:111]: 'Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise.' This is the meeting called 'martyrdom, courage and self-sacrifice.' The young man Abu Laila... who carried out the stabbing and shooting attack near the town of Salfit south of Nablus, and who has been dubbed 'the Rambo of Palestine,' is the hero of the Salfit operation... He won the highest badge of honor, because he met martyrdom...
"I may be exaggerating by saying that if you wish to go back in time to the era of the Companions of the Prophet and their jihad, in order to copy [that era] as it was into this time, you will discover [that there is no need for this] because in this place, where jihad is being waged, there are [already] men who long for martyrdom as we long for water and air. Their souls are in heaven... There is no home in Palestine that has not sacrificed a child or a young man, a woman or an elder, a doctor, engineer, teacher or sheikh, from the jihad-fighting sheikh, [Hamas leader] Ahmad Yasin to [Hamas founder] Dr. ['Abd Al-'Aziz] Al-Rantisi; the 'Engineer of the Resistance' Yahya 'Ayyash [a founder of Hamas's military wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades]; the martyr [Ibrahim] Al-Maqadma [an Al-Qassam commander]; [Hamas official Mahmoud] Al-Mabhouh; [Hamas official] Sheikh Nizar Riyan, and Sa'id Sayyam, a commander [of Hamas's security apparatuses]. And the last but not least of them is that young man, 'Omar Amin Abu Laila..."
"The Salfit operation confounds the Zionist occupation..." (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, March 18, 2019)
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Qatari Columnist: Armed Resistance Is The Only Way To Fight Israel
In a two-part article in the Qatari daily Al-Watan, columnist Hussein 'Atwi praised the courage and abilities of 'Omar Abu Laila, and the attack he carried out. Such attacks, he said, reflect the willingness of young Palestinians to continue the armed struggle and are the only effective way to fight Israel, after the strategy of negotiations has proved to be fruitless. 'Atwi wrote: "The operation carried out by the martyred Arab resistance fighter 'Omar Abu Laila in Salfit in the occupied West Bank rocked the Zionist entity [to the core], while encouraging the Arab public in the Arab homeland of occupied Palestine. This operation, [so] successful from a military and security [perspective], reflected the ability, courage and daring of the young martyr 'Omar Abu Laila, who carried out a complicated self-sacrifice attack against the occupation's soldiers and settlers... In carrying out this self-sacrifice operation, the martyr demonstrated unmatched ability, so much so that the Zionist settlers were forced to acknowledge his immense courage on social media, dubbing him Rambo... It has again been proved that the operations carried out by the young men of the resistance are continuing, and have not ceased... This means that the armed operations of the uprising continue, alongside the popular resistance, [namely] the Marches of Return in Gaza and the popular outbursts in the West Bank and in occupied Jerusalem, [intended to] defend the Arab identity of the land and of the holy places against [the attempts to] Judaize [them]..."
In the second part of the article, 'Atwi wrote: "The large popular attendance at the funeral of the martyr [Abu Laila] reflected the extent of the Palestinian public's support for the option of resistance against the occupation... This is especially because [his] attack proved once again that resistance and uprising are the way to thwart the plots and plans of the occupation, which persists in its aggression, its terror and its usurping of Palestinian land. As for the option of negotiation and truce, which has been adopted since the signing of the wretched Oslo [Accords], it has produced nothing and has only encouraged the enemy to maintain the occupation, the settlements and the Judaization of the Palestinian lands, while creating a rift and schism among the Palestinians – a schism that the occupation has taken pains to encourage so as to achieve its goals. This proves that the only way to fight the occupation's plans to eliminate the Palestinian cause is to escalate the resistance and the uprising against it. Experience shows [that the occupation] understands only the language of force and will retreat in the face of armed popular resistance, as happened in South Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip, where the occupation was defeated by unceasing blows of resistance that turned [its life] into a hell that it could no longer endure."
Qatari Columnist: Abu Laila Carried Out His Heroic Action Knowing He Would Be Martyred; He Is A Teacher For The Future Generations
Palestinian journalist Samir Al-Barghouti, a columnist for Qatar's Al-Watan daily who frequently writes in favor of armed struggle against Israel, published several articles in praise of Abu Laila, saying that he had acted while knowing he would be martyred and therefore serves as a role model for the future Palestinian generations. In a March 20 article he wrote: "This is the legendary young man who sacrificed his life, 'Omar Abu Laila, whose heroism was reported [even] by the Zionist media outlets, that were terrified by what they saw... after he carried out his high-quality operation. The 19-year-old 'Omar Abu Laila defied the world's fourth-strongest military force [armed] with [nothing but] a fruit knife and intense faith... This hero knew that his fate may be martyrdom, and carried out the operation [anyway,] out of belief in his [Palestinian] cause, with courage only few can muster..."
In a March 21 article Al-Barghouti wrote: "In Qatar, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and the Maghreb, birds flew in the air tweeting ''Omar has been martyred'... His mother chose his name so that he would become a martyr like his ancestor, [the second caliph] 'Omar bin Al-Khattab. I have never seen a martyr celebrated by the [Muslim] nation like this 18-year-old martyr, for he rocked Israel from north to south with a heroic operation that was documented by the Zionists' cameras and satellites. The settlers saw him and called him 'the Palestinian Rambo.' He thus became a new Palestinian engineer and a teacher for the [future] generations... Yes, 'Omar, you are the foremost teacher of the [future] generations, [following] the path of [Fatah founder and Arafat's deputy] Abu Jihad, [Fatah official and Black September organization head] Abu Iyyad, Sheikh Yasin, Al-Rantisi, 'Abdallah Al-Barghouti [a founder of Hamas's military wing, who is imprisoned in Israel] and [imprisoned Fatah official] Marwan Al-Barghouti, on the path of your ancestors... This young man carried out his operation knowing he would sacrifice his life... But it was a message to Israel: 'You will have no peace in the homeland you usurped. We will not let you sleep in peace or live in peace in our land, as long as there is a baby in the womb of a [single] Palestinian woman [anywhere in the world, even] in Chile or New Zealand..."
 Al-Sharq (Qatar), March 25, 2019.
 Al-Watan (Qatar), March 23, 2019.
 Al-Watan (Qatar), March 24, 2019.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7742, Palestinian Columnist In Qatari Daily Calls For Armed Struggle Against Israel, November 1, 2018.
 Al-Watan (Qatar), March 20, 2019.
 Al-Watan (Qatar), March 21, 2019.