The official Palestinian Authority daily has praised and glorified the terrorist who murdered three civilians and seven Israeli soldiers in a 2002 ambush. The terrorist was praised for entering "the history of the Intifada as having carried out the most successful military action, alone... he is the hero of the Intifada... [doing] what tens of brigades and platoons, and hundreds of missiles and heroic stories, failed to do."
The killer, Thaer Hammad, hid on a hill and shot and killed the seven Israeli soldiers, one after the other, as they emerged from a building below. He also shot and killed an Israeli paramedic and two civilians in the area.
The article, in the official newspaper of Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, also praises the Hamas kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as "a military action that was successful by any military yardstick." It says that the sniper Hamed is "made of the same stuff as those who carried out the capture of Shalit."
Glorifying terrorists is a regular practice in Palestinian society, amongst both the Fatah and Hamas leadership. The PA regularly honors terrorists as role models for children and youth by naming schools, summer camps and athletic facilities after some of the most heinous killers.
Hafez Barghouti, editor of PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote yesterday's article glorifying the killings, inflating the number of victims, and praising Hamed. He called on Palestinians to view Hamed as a top priority for release in any future prisoner exchange.
The following is the text from the official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, by editor-in-chief, Hafez Barghouti:
"There is still some chance to carry out a deal [to free jailed Palestinians], since the present [Israeli] government wants last-minute achievements to bolster the Kadima and Labor parties... But what pains us is that at the top of the list of senior prisoners whose liberty is being sought, one non-political name is missing, that of the young sniper Thaer Hammad, who carried out the operation at Wadi Al-Haramiyye... [he] belonged to no faction when he carried out his action... which killed nine [Israeli] soldiers and three settlers. [Actual figure was seven soldiers and three civilians - Ed.]...
This young man should be our top priority, since he entered the history of the Intifada as having carried out the most successful military action, alone...
Thaer Hammad deserves freedom because he is the hero of the Intifada, and he is the only Palestinian resistance fighter who belongs to his people and to his land, spurning the factions, for had he been factional, he would not have succeeded in his action. He acted alone, going out to play solo on the M-1 [carbine], and did what tens of brigades and platoons, and hundreds of missiles and heroic stories, failed to do.
He is made of the same stuff as those who carried out the capture of Shalit - a military action that was successful by any military yardstick - and now he [Thaer Hammad] should be freed."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 17, 2009]