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Martyrs source of pride for Palestinian families
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Martyrs and terrorist prisoners source of pride for Palestinian families

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
 
Dying as a Martyr for Allah - becoming a Shahid - continues to be presented as a positive achievement in Palestinian society. As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, for years the Palestinian Authority has promoted Martyrdom as an ultimate value and goal both to adults and children. Still today, aspiring to become a "Martyr" is considered an honor and praised by society. Often the death and funeral of a "Martyr" is referred to as a wedding and he himself is considered a "groom" who marries the virgins of Paradise.

When a Palestinian was killed by Israel last week while placing a landmine by the security fence in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, a female relative explained:
"Today he is a groom. I've sounded a joyous cry. He is a groom. He wanted to become a Martyr for a long time. When I told him: 'Find a job,' he said: 'I want to be a Martyr.'"
 
Emphasizing the idea of the "Martyr" becoming a groom, a woman earlier this year exclaimed on PA TV:
"By Allah, we welcome every Martyr as if he were a groom among us."
 
Parents who themselves have lost children, encourage others to also "sacrifice" their children. A mother of a "Martyr" said about her dead son: "Praise to Allah, he sought Martyrdom, and he achieved it. My message to every mother is to sacrifice her child for Palestine."

"If I were young and could bear children who would fight the way my children fought, and another generation of my children could arise, I would do it," said a mother of one Shahid (Martyr) and five prisoners, expressing pride in her children.

Another mother, whose son died in prison said: "I know that my son, praise Allah, died as a Shahid, and all the glory and honor is that my son is a Shahid."
All sources and translations below.

Palestinians who have killed Israelis or aided others in doing so, and who are serving time in Israeli prisons, are likewise considered heroes of Palestinian society.

Recently, the weekly PA TV program In a Fighter's Home chose to honor terrorist prisoner Sanaa Shehadeh by visiting her home and family. Shehadeh is serving 3 life sentences in prison for transporting a suicide terrorist to Jerusalem in 2002. Three civilians were killed and dozens wounded in the attack.
Her father told PA TV:

"I am proud of my daughter Sanaa, and say that she is a heroine... I call her the 'heroine of Jerusalem', and sometimes 'the heroine of Palestine'."
[PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 22, 2010]

Previously PA TV had already honored prisoner Sanaa Shehadeh by visiting her home and broadcasting her two nieces singing her a song. Click to see PMW's report on her nieces singing her an anti-Israel war song.

Last month, the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs chose to honor two prisoners, Sami Younes and Hadil Abu Turki. Sami Younes is convicted of planning and carrying out a kidnapping in 1980 of an Israeli soldier who was later killed. Hadil Abu Turki tried to stab an Israeli soldier in Hebron in 2009. The PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Karake, bestowed her family with an "award of honor" (see picture.)

Text: "Karake bestows award of honor to the family of Sami Younes"
The PA Minister for Prisoners' Affairs also recently decided to honor a woman because she is the mother of four sons who together are serving 18 life sentences in Israeli prisons for murdering 18 people.

PMW has documented the policy of the PA to honor terrorists by naming permanent structures and events after them in the report From Terrorists to Role Models.

PMW has documented the success of the PA's Shahada promotion, including parents celebrating their children's death.

Following are excerpts of various family members expressing pride and joy over their "Martyr" and prisoner family members:

PA TV News broadcast:
[Report on two Palestinians killed while attempting to lay landmines by the security fence in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.]
A family member of one of them:
"Today he is a groom. I've sounded a joyous cry. He is a groom. He wanted to become a Martyr for a long time. When I told him: 'Find a job,' he said: 'I want to be a Martyr.'"
[PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 26, 2010]

The weekly PA TV program In a Fighter's Home visits prisoner Sanaa Shehadeh's home. Shehadeh is serving 3 life sentences in an Israeli prison for transporting a suicide terrorist to Jerusalem in 2002. On PA TV, her father explained how proud he is of his daughter:
"I am proud of my daughter Sanaa, and say that she is a heroine... I call her the 'heroine of Al-Quds' [Jerusalem], and sometimes 'the heroine of Palestine'."
[PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 22, 2010]

Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs honors prisoners who killed Israelis and aided terrorists:
"Marking the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs yesterday at the El-Bireh municipality honored the oldest prisoner in the occupation's prisons, Sami Younes (Abu Nader) from Ara, inside the Green Line, who is over 80, and the [youngest] female prisoner Hadil Abu Turki of Hebron (15). ... [Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa] Karake emphasized: 'Our position, in the Palestinian Authority, is that the prisoners of Jerusalem and of Palestine occupied in 1948 must be a basic and fundamental part of any political solution, and they must not remain outside of any agreement, as Israel wishes [them to], claiming that it regards them as Israeli citizens, while it denies them elementary civil rights.' Karake called upon those responsible on the Palestinian side for a prisoner exchange deal for Shalit, not to submit to the Israeli wishes, and to insist on including the prisoners of Jerusalem and Palestine occupied in 1948 in this deal."
[Al-Ayyam, Dec. 10, 2010]
Note: Hadil Abu Turki tried to stab an Israeli soldier in Hebron in 2009.
Sami Younes (Abu Nader) assaulted an Israeli soldier, took his weapon and killed him in 1981.

PA TV talk show Good Morning Jerusalem discusses attacks on prisoners.
Mother of a Shahid (Martyr) and five prisoners, Um Rafat Al-Isawi:
"If I were young and could bear children who would fight the way my children fought, and another generation of my children could arise, I would do it."
[PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 24, 2010]

As part of a report on the funeral of prisoner Raed Abu Hamad, who died in an Israel prison:
Mother of Abu Hamad: "I know that my son, praise Allah, died as a Shahid, and all the glory and honor is that my son is a Shahid."
[PA TV (Fatah), Apr. 19, 2010]

PA TV news report:
Mother upon news of son's death in an IDF airstrike: "We had always hoped for his [my son's] Martyrdom (Shahada), knowing he wanted to die as a Martyr (Shahid). Every time he went out, we would say to him, 'May Allah be with you.' We knew that he wanted to die as a Martyr. Praise to Allah, he sought Martyrdom, and he achieved it. My message to every mother is to sacrifice her child for Palestine.
Another woman: "By Allah, we welcome every Martyr as if he were a groom among us."
[PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 11, 2010]


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