Minister of Public Security adopts PMW complaint to police against PA leader Rajoub
On March 11 this year, Palestinian Media Watch submitted a complaint to the Israeli police against Palestinian leader Jibril Rajoub for incitement to murder during the 2015 - 2016 Palestinian terror wave ("The Knife Intifada"). Joining PMW’s complaint were the relatives of three terror victims, Avraham Weissman, Doron Mizrachi, and Natan Meir, whose loved ones were murdered in the months following Rajoub’s incitement to murder.
Following three months of PMW's waiting for the police to initiate an investigation, PMW turned last week to the Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan who is responsible for the police and asked him to intervene. In response, Minister Erdan sent a letter to the Attorney General Dr. Avichai Mandelblit asking him to instruct the police to investigate Rajoub based on PMW's complaint:
"On March 11, 2018, a complaint [by PMW] was submitted to the Israel Police against Rajoub for incitement to violence and terror... Rajoub explicitly and consistently incites to terror and violence in a manner that can harm and lead to acts of murder and violence, I ask you to order the launch of a police investigation against him." [See full text of Erdan's letter below]
In addition, based on the evidence PMW supplied, Erdan asked the Attorney General to immediately prohibit Rajoub's entry into Israel:
"It is unreasonable to me that the State of Israel would act to grant permits to someone who incites to violence and terror, and who acts in every way to harm it and its citizens. Therefore, I ask that instructions be given to withhold from Rajoub any entry permit to territory of the State of Israel from now on."
Rajoub is a very senior PA official. He received the highest number of votes in the last Fatah election and could replace Mahmoud Abbas should the 82 year-old leader step down. Rajoub holds many Palestinian positions: Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association, and Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs.
Notwithstanding his senior position, PMW supplied evidence of Rajoub's clear incitement to murder, which cannot be ignored. PMW's complaint to the police included evidence of explicit calls by Rajoub on PA TV to continue terror attacks against Israelis. For example, referring to Palestinian terrorists who had attacked and even murdered Israelis, he said:
"I say that whoever carried out individual acts of heroism, we in the Fatah Movement bless and encourage them. We consider them heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian... beginning with our brother Muhannad Halabi (i.e., who murdered 2)."
Once Rajoub called to commit terror attacks specifically against soldiers and "settlers," because he wanted to avoid a negative political cost on the international level:
"The international community does not ask what happens to a settler or soldier in the occupied territories at the wrong time and in the wrong place. No one asks about him! Therefore, we want to fight in a way that the world and the international community will remain by our side."
In his letter to the Attorney General, Erdan cited this and other evidence that was in PMW's complaint, which was first announced at an event in the Knesset organized by the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus, headed by MKs Oded Forer, Avraham Neguise, and Elazar Stern.
The following is a translation of Minister Erdan's letter, with links to PMW's evidence. The link to the original Hebrew follows below:
June 18, 2018
To: Dr. Avichai Mandelblit, Attorney General, Mr. Shai Nitzan, State Attorney, Brig.-Gen. Sharon Afek, Military Advocate General, Maj.-Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories
Topic: Jibril Rajoub - Launching an investigation and preventing entry to Israeli territory
1. Jibril Rajoub is a resident of the Palestinian Authority, Secretary-General of the Central Committee of the Fatah organization (which has been declared as a terror organization), Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the [PLO] Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs.
2. Over the years, in forums in which he is active and a member, Rajoub is leading a violent and extremist line against the State of Israel that strives against its existence and seeks to undermine its legitimacy. Recently, Rajoub led a cultural boycott campaign against Israel - in that he led a campaign of threats against the Argentinian national football team and its players, in order to cause a cancelation of the friendly match against the Israeli national football team. As part of this, Rajoub called on Arabs and Muslims to burn the shirt of Argentinian national football team player Lionel Messi. Due to his actions, FIFA even opened disciplinary proceedings against him.
3. From the information recently made known to me (PMW's complaint to the police was shown to him last week - Ed.), it arises that in addition to his activity in the international arena against the State of Israel, in recent years Rajoub is involved in severe incitement and support for committing terror activities and the murder of Israeli civilians, soldiers, and police officers. In addition, Rajoub clearly and publicly supports terror organizations and the kidnapping of Israelis.
4. As is known, the recent terror wave that the State of Israel dealt with was characterized by terror attacks committed mainly by lone terrorists, who drew the inspiration to commit the terror attack from publications in the media outlets or social media. In this context, Rajoub's remarks receive extra force in light of his senior status in the Palestinian establishment and the various positions that he holds - which contain significant potential to influence others to act according to his calls.
5. For example, prominent examples from these statements of his are brought below (as they were made known to me by Palestinian Media Watch) :
"If Hamas wants to kidnap soldiers, let them kidnap soldiers. Let them kidnap... It's clear that kidnapping is the language they understand. On the contrary, we encourage them [Hamas]. When they kidnapped [Israeli soldier Gilad] Shalit, we congratulated them..." (Jan. 2, 2014)
"The international community does not agree to a bus exploding in Tel Aviv. But the international community does not ask what happens to a settler or soldier in the occupied territories at the wrong time and in the wrong place. No one asks about him! Therefore, we want to fight in a way that the world and the international community will remain by our side." (Oct. 17, 2015)
"I say that whoever carried out individual acts of heroism, we in the Fatah Movement bless and encourage them. We consider them heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian... beginning with our brother Muhannad Halabi (who murdered 2 - Ed.) and ending with the last Martyr... I say that we in the [Fatah] Central Committee have discussed this matter, and we are in favor." (Jan. 2, 2016)
"And from here we say to the 145 Martyrs (Palestinians killed from Oct. 2015 - Jan. 2016, most during their terror attacks -Ed.) - you are heroes and we bless you and strengthen your families, and say to you: You are a crown on our heads.'" (Jan. 6, 2016)
Rajoub is also implementing his murderous ideology in the framework of his official positions:
In 2013, Rajoub gave certificates of honor to murderers Ziyad and Mustafa Ghneimat who murdered two Israelis in 1985 (Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 20, 2013)
In 2015, Rajoub glorified Khalil Al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), who led the PLO's military wing and was responsible for a number of acts of terror that led to the murder of many Israelis (at least 125), by sponsoring a fencing tournament named after the arch-terrorist (Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 20, 2015)
6. On March 11, 2018, a complaint [by PMW] was submitted to the Israel Police against Rajoub for incitement to violence and terror.
7. In light of all of the above, which proves that Rajoub explicitly and consistently incites to terror and violence in a manner that can harm and lead to acts of murder and violence, I ask you to order the launch of a police investigation against him.
8. Likewise, from the police reports it was made known to me that from time to time Rajoub receives entry permits to East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. It is unreasonable to me that the State of Israel would act to grant permits to someone who incites to violence and terror, and who acts in every way to harm it and its citizens. Therefore, I ask that instructions be given to withhold from Rajoub any entry permit to territory of the State of Israel from now on.
9. I would be grateful for your answer.
Israeli Parliament Member Gilad Erdan
Minister of Public Security,
Minister of Strategic Affairs