Palestinian Greek Orthodox leader inadvertently
honors murderer of Greek Orthodox monk
Bethlehem municipality honors 52 terrorists
serving life sentences
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Last month, the Bethlehem municipality decided to honor 52 terrorist prisoners from Bethlehem - all of whom are serving life sentences. The unveiling of the exhibit “in honor of the [Bethlehem] district’s 52 prisoners sentenced to life,” was “a salute of loyalty and commitment,” speakers at the event stated. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 31, 2015]
Among the participants in the unveiling “sponsored and supervised by the Bethlehem municipality” in honor of the murderers, was Palestinian Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia Atallah Hanna.
By his participation in the event, Archbishop Hanna inadvertently glorified a terrorist who murdered one of Hanna’s fellow clergy, Greek Orthodox monk Gur Pzipokatsatakis.
On June 12, 2002, Greek Orthodox monk Gur Pzipokatsatakis was murdered in a drive-by shooting near Maale Adumim. Palestinian terrorist and a member of the Tanzim (Fatah terror faction) Yasser Rabai’ah from Bethlehem participated in the attack and was later arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. (See below for descriptions of 5 other terrorist murderers whose photographs appeared in the Bethlehem municipality exhibit.)
Bethlehem - a history of glorifying terror
Bethlehem’s official institutions have a history of terror glorification and honoring murderers. In 2013, PMW documented that the city glorified its “female Martyrs,” singling out two suicide bombers who together killed 8 Israelis and wounded more than 100. Later that same year, Bethlehem’s Education Administration honored released murderers with a ceremony, among the murderers from Bethlehem was Issa Abd Rabbo who was serving two life sentences for killing two Israeli university students, Ron Levi and Revital Seri, who were hiking south of Jerusalem on Oct. 22, 1984. At gun point he tied them up, put bags over their heads and then shot and murdered both. He was released in October 2013 as one of 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.
In 2011, the Bethlehem district honored 73 Palestinians from Bethlehem serving life sentences in Israeli prisons, and unveiled a "Tree of Freedom for Prisoners." Its branches were decorated with "photographs of prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment."
The following is the report on the exhibit honoring murderers from Bethlehem in the official PA daily
Headline: “We will open an exhibit in Bethlehem in honor of the prisoners sentenced to life”
“Yesterday [Dec. 30, 2015] was the unveiling of the exhibit in Bethlehem in honor of the district’s 52 prisoners sentenced to life, sponsored and supervised by the Bethlehem municipality and the union of released prisoners. Present at the event were Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki, Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake, Governor of Bethlehem district Jabrin Al-Bakri, Mayor of Bethlehem Vera Baboun, and [Greek-Orthodox] Archbishop [of Sebastia] Atallah Hanna...
The speakers emphasized in their speeches that this exhibit is a salute of loyalty and commitment to the prisoners serving time in the occupation’s prisons.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 31, 2015]
Photo from the event is from Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Dec. 30, 2015
Yasser Rabai’ah - Palestinian terrorist and a member of the Tanzim (Fatah terror faction), who participated in a drive-by shooting near Maale Adumim in which Greek Orthodox monk Gur Pzipokatsatakis was murdered on June 12, 2002. Rabai’ah was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Ahmed Adel Sa’adeh - Palestinian terrorist who transported Palestinian terrorist, 23-year-old Nael Abu Halil, who carried out a suicide attack on bus no. 20 in Jerusalem, in which 12 Israelis were murdered and dozens injured, on Nov. 21, 2002. Sa’adeh was sentenced to 12 life sentences.
Ashraf Hajajreh - Palestinian terrorist who transported Palestinian terrorist, 19-year old Muhammad Al-Shouani, who carried out a suicide attack in the Beit Israel neighborhood of Jerusalem, in which 11 people were murdered, on March 2, 2002. Hajajreh was sentenced to 12 life sentences.
Amjad Takatka - Palestinian terrorist who is serving 6 life sentences and another 20 years for his involvement in the suicide attack carried out by Andalib Takatka, who killed 6 and wounded more than 80 people in the suicide attack she carried out at Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda outdoor market on April 12, 2002.
Jawad Jawarish - Palestinian terrorist serving a life sentence for involvement in a shooting attack in the West Bank on March 5, 2002, in which Israeli civilian Devorah Friedman was murdered.
Mahmoud Abu Sorour - Palestinian terrorist who participated in planning and carrying out the assassination of Israeli security agent Haim Nachmani on Jan. 3, 1993, in Jerusalem.Sorour was sentenced to life imprisonment.