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PA promotes rock throwing and self-sacrifice for Al-Aqsa Mosque
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Official PA daily promotes rock throwing
and sacrificing oneself for the Al-Aqsa Mosque
 
PA tells its people rock throwing is permitted under international law
and warns that harsher punishment for rock throwers
encourages Palestinians to use guns
 
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 14, 2015]
 
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
 
Several Israelis have been injured and many Palestinians arrested over the Jewish New Year holiday as a result of Palestinian violence on the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem. The official Palestinian Authority daily has encouraged Palestinians to continue throwing rocks at Israelis and to sacrifice themselves to defend and save the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem.
 
A cartoon shows a Palestinian man who has ripped out his heart and is throwing it as a rock. The PA printed this cartoon the day after the death of Israeli civilian Alexander Levlovitch, whose death is suspected to have been caused by rock throwing.
 
Another PA daily cartoon published today also encourages children to throw rocks. It shows a mother and a father carrying Jerusalem on their backs, represented by the Dome of the Rock and a Christian church. Their child swings a slingshot with a stone in it. The cartoon is entitled "packhorse," implying that the Palestinians are carrying the heavy responsibility of Jerusalem on their shoulders. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 16, 2015]
 
Israel has recently tightened its law against rock throwing following a rise in such attacks against Israeli civilians. The law (Penal Code 2015, section 332A) was passed by the Israeli Parliament on July 21, 2015. It imposes up to 10 years imprisonment for throwing rocks at civilian vehicles and up to 20 years when intent to injure is proven.
 
 









Caption: "The president during his meeting with the Al-Tamimi family from Nabi Saleh."
The PA presents rock throwing as an example of what they term "peaceful resistance." Recently, PA Chairman Abbas endorsed rock throwing when he hosted an event for a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who threw rocks at Israeli soldiers. When a soldier wanted to arrest him, the boy's family attacked the soldier. At the event, Abbas praised the boy and his family, and "stressed that  peaceful popular resistance against the occupier is a powerful weapon in the hands of the Palestinian people." A picture of Abbas hugging the boy appeared in the official PA daily:  
 
"During the reception for the family of the child Muhammad Al-Tamimi, the president praised the courage of the Al-Tamimi family and the way it faces the tyranny of the occupation and the attacks of its soldiers... The president stressed that peaceful popular resistance against the occupier is a powerful weapon in the hands of the Palestinian people."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2015]
 
A regular columnist for the official PA daily, Hafez Al-Barghouti, wrote an op-ed about Israel's tightening of the law against rock throwing, calling it "a criminal law." He stated that the law constitutes an "escalation" of violence in that it "encourages shooting" rather than rock throwing, since it allows for equal sentences for rock throwing and shooting:
 
"There is not a more criminal law than the recent Israeli law, which increases the punishment for rock throwing in Jerusalem to imprisonment of up to 20 years... However, it doesn't matter how severe the punishment, it won't prevent the resistance to the daily attacks of the settlers, and it will not scare anyone. Indeed, it is actually a call to escalate the conflict, since if the punishment for rock throwing is equal to the punishment for shooting, whoever wants to throw [rocks], will reconsider and look for a firearm, as long as the punishment is the same. Therefore, the Israeli Parliament is responsible for any blood spilled in Jerusalem, since this law encourages the use of weapons instead of rocks." (Emphasis added) 
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 23, 2015]
 
The Palestinian writer also maintained that rock throwing "is not a deadly weapon" and that it is allowed because international law has endorsed the use of "all possible means." PA leaders and officials often legitimize Palestinian violence and terror by quoting UN resolution 3236 which "recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means." The PA interprets "all means" as including violence and killing civilians, but has chosen to ignore the continuation of the resolution which states that the use of "all means" should be "in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations..." The UN Charter prohibits targeting civilians, even in war. Chapter 1, Article 1, opens by saying that "international disputes" should be resolved "by peaceful means." In line with this PA policy, Barghouti too ignored this in his op-ed:
 
"This law will not prevent resistance to the occupation through use of the weakest means, which is rock throwing, since a rock is not a deadly weapon. However, the occupation and the rightist Israeli Parliament have chosen a punishment which is inappropriate to the act, an act that is permitted from an international perspective as long as there is occupation, since international law permits whoever is under occupation to resist through all possible means." (emphasis added.)
 
Rock throwing is not a "peaceful" way of "resisting." Israeli civilians have been killed by rocks thrown by Palestinians. In 2011, Asher Palmer and his infant son were murdered by a Palestinian who threw a rock at their car, making it overturn, killing them both. The terrorist, Waal Al-Arjeh, was convicted for throwing the rock at Palmer's car [The Jerusalem Post, March 4, 2013] and sentenced to 2 life terms and an additional 58 years. [Haaretz, April 24, 2013]

Israeli Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Alexander Levlovitch's death in a car crash on the eve of the Jewish New Year on Sept. 13, 2015. Other drivers reported to the police that Palestinians had been throwing rocks at cars traveling along that street and it is currently believed that it was a rock thrown at Levlovitch's car that caused the accident.
 
The following are longer excerpts of the articles mentioned above:

Op-ed by Hafez Al-Barghouti, regular columnist for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Headline: "Law encouraging shooting"
"There is not a more criminal law than the recent Israeli law, which increases the punishment for rock throwing in Jerusalem to imprisonment of up to 20 years. This law will not prevent resistance to the occupation through use of the weakest means, which is rock throwing, since a rock is not a deadly weapon. However, the occupation and the rightist Israeli Parliament (Knesset) have chosen a punishment which is inappropriate to the act, an act that is permitted from an international perspective as long as there is occupation, since international law permits whoever is under occupation to resist through all possible means. However, Israel does not consider itself an occupying force in Jerusalem, and therefore it has passed this criminal law against those who are under occupation. However, it doesn't matter how severe the punishment, it won't prevent the resistance to the daily attacks of the settlers, and it will not scare anyone. Indeed, it is actually a call to escalate the conflict, since if the punishment for rock throwing is equal to the punishment for shooting, whoever wants to throw [rocks], will reconsider and look for a firearm, as long as the punishment is the same. Therefore, the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) is responsible for any blood spilled in Jerusalem, since this law encourages the use of weapons instead of rocks."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 23, 2015]
 
PA leaders and officials have legitimized Palestinian violence by quoting UN resolution 3236 which "recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means." The PA interprets "all means" as including violence against civilians, but has chosen to ignore the continuation of the resolution which states that the use of "all means" should be "in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations..." The UN Charter prohibits targeting civilians, even in war. Chapter 1, Article 1, opens by saying that "international disputes" should be resolved "by peaceful means."
 
Headline: "The president [Mahmoud Abbas]: "The occupation's recurring crimes will not go unpunished"
"President Mahmoud Abbas received yesterday [Sept. 3, 2015] at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, the family of Martyr Muhammad Al-Atrash, who was killed by the Israeli occupation forces at the Tapuach junction, south of Nablus, and the family of youth Muhammad Al-Tamimi, whom the Israeli occupation forces attacked and tried to arrest in the village of Nabi Saleh, west of Ramallah. The president offered his condolences to the Martyr's (Shahid) family and stressed that these recurring crimes against the Palestinian people will not go unpunished...
During the reception for the family of the child Muhammad Al-Tamimi, the president praised the courage of the Al-Tamimi family and the way it faces the tyranny of the occupation and the attacks of its soldiers. In addition, he stressed that this proves the extent of the devotion of the Palestinian people to its land.
The president stressed that peaceful popular resistance (reference to rock throwing -Ed.) against the occupier is a powerful weapon in the hands of the Palestinian people, which exposes the falsity of the occupation, and shows to the whole world its barbarity, and the right of our people to self-definition, and to the establishment of an independent state like the rest of the peoples of the world.
Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim and Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul attended the meeting."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 3, 2015]
 
Muhammad Al-Atrash attempted to stab an Israeli border police officer at the Tapuach junction in the West Bank on Aug. 17, 2015. He was shot and killed by another police officer at the scene.
 
Muhammad Al-Tamimi - a 12-year-old boy who threw stones at Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank. When one of the soldiers tried to arrest him, the soldier was attacked by the boy's family.
 



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