Senior PA official celebrates “magnificent” terrorist “heroes returning from captivity”
Official PA TV Live - Nov. 3, 2013

PA TV broadcast a rally in Surif, Hebron in honor of released prisoners Ziyad Ghneimat, Mustafa Ghneimat, and Najeh Muqbil. Among those attending were PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake, Fatah Central Committee members Jamal Muhaisen, Tawfiq Tirawi and Abbas Zaki, Prisoners’ Club Chairman Qadura Fares, and Hebron District Governor Kamel Hamid.

Event moderator: "Welcome to the celebration of Palestine’s knights of this time [in history], knights of perseverance, knights of the homeland. On behalf of Palestine, the state, on behalf of our virtuous Martyrs (Shahids), on behalf of our prisoners behind bars, on behalf of all of them, we open this assembly today [Nov. 2, 2013] with the prisoners’ celebration; with a celebration and with the ‘Sun of Freedom’ rally, the rally for heroes, Ziyad, Mustafa, and Najeh… And now, with the beginning of all beginnings, with the first bullet, with from Fatah’s speech, the Palestine National Liberation Movement – Fatah’s speech, the Fatah Central Committee speech, Brother Abbas Zaki Abu Mashal, if you please."

Abbas Zaki (turning to the prisoners): "How great and magnificent what you have done, oh heroes returning from captivity. How great are these men of great stature, for you sieged the prison guard. How great are you, for you knew that you are potential Martyrs (Shahids), yet your will was stronger than any [Israeli] decision and any outcome. How great what President Mahmoud Abbas has done, who through his insight knew how to defeat the enemies… Mahmoud Abbas came with his strong argument, with his intelligent policy, and with excellent, elegant diplomacy, and he baffled everyone in the Israeli camp, and he forced this equation (i.e., equating prisoners who had killed with prisoners who had not). For no one expected that Israel, which hands down life sentences and decided that they [the prisoners] would go from prison to the grave, [would release them]. They have become medals on the chest of this nation… The release of these heroic brothers was payment for nine months in which we won’t turn to international institutions…

Since firing the first shot, we in Fatah have sworn that we are on a journey that will not end unless our nation’s aspirations are achieved: return [of the refugees], an independent state, Jerusalem as the eternal capital of a Palestinian state…

It cannot be that we will ever commit suicide, and it cannot be that we will agree to anyone saying that we bowed down and sold out [on our principles]. We are the ones who planted the spirit of defiance in this nation, and we have been the school [to teach] the culture of resistance. When Israel and America declared that ‘the old will die and the young will forget,’ and when they said that this is their ‘Promised Land,’ we told them that what is ‘promised’ is turbulent confrontation. We took up arms, and with cascades of blood we inscribed [in the books of history] victory after victory. And today, through diplomacy, by winning the world over on our side, and by removing Israel from public opinion (i.e., as a legitimate state), we will administer the poison to them drop by drop… I congratulate the Hebron District on [the return] of this group of select men. And when I mention Mustafa, Ziyad, and Najeh, I add also the great eagle Fakhri Barghouti – 33 years in prison, and here he is with us! …

I would like now to recall the commander of the operation, [Muhammad] Abu Shadi Al-Tous, who we look up to with respect. The reason they are postponing [the release of] this commander is that he angered them more by having been the commander of the operation. We also salute [his wife] Um Shadi, and every front, and [we salute] all those beloved heroes, the pioneers, the free men, the fighters, like these heroes (points to the three released prisoners)… We say to Israel: Die in your rage. Go to your cemeteries and recite over your dead whatever you recite. Here they are [who Israel said] 'have blood on their hands' (i.e., murderers); here they are [back] among their own people: fighters, knights, free men!"

Notes: Ziyad Mahmoud Ghneimat and Mustafa Ghneimat were each serving a life sentence for shooting and murdering 2 Israeli citizens, Meir Ben Yair and Michal Cohen, in a forest on June 27, 1985. They were released in October 2013, as part of the 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA’s precondition for renewing negotiations.

Najeh Muqbil - participated in stabbing and murdering his employer, Israeli citizen Yaacov Shalom, on May 20, 1990. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison. He was released in October 2013 as part of the 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.

Muhammad Al-Tous – is a Fatah terrorist, serving a life sentence. He led a cell that attacked five civilian buses, wounding 16 people. He also gave the orders to murder three people and was involved in the murders of an additional two. He has been imprisoned since 1985.

Nael and Fakhri Barghouti were part of a Fatah squad who kidnapped and killed an Israeli officer in 1978. They are serving life sentences for this killing.