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PMW and bereaved families submit complaint to Israeli police against Palestinian leader Rajoub

Lahav Harkov  |
Palestinian Media Watch and three bereaved families recently submitted a complaint to the police against Palestinian leader Jibril Rajoub. This article was written the morning the complaint was submitted and explains PMW's action.

Bereaved Families Report
Palestinian Official Rajoub to Police For Incitement

By Lahav Harkov, March 7, 2018
Several bereaved families and Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli NGO, plan to report senior Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub to the police on Thursday for alleged incitement to murder Israelis.

The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the seven-page complaint, which Palestinian Media Watch plans to send to Israel Police Commissioner Insp.- Gen. Roni Alsheich and several senior ministers, in addition to submitting the report to the Jerusalem police.

It was also signed by Natan Meir, husband of Daphna Meir, whom a Palestinian teen stabbed to death in 2016, while three of her children were at home; Doron Mizrahi, father of Ziv Mizrahi, a soldier stabbed to death in 2015; and Avraham Weissman, father of Yanai Weissman, an off-duty soldier who was stabbed to death in 2016, while shopping with his wife and four-month-old daughter.

Rajoub spent 15 years in an Israeli prison for throwing a grenade at an army bus in 1970. He holds several positions in the PA and in Fatah, its ruling party, including being secretary of Fatah's Central Committee and chairman of the High Commission for Youth and Sport. He chairs the Palestinians' Olympic committee and soccer association, positions he has used to try to bring boycotts on Israel.

The media watchdog organization first announced its intention to report Rajoub at a meeting of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus on Tuesday, unveiling what it said was new evidence.

In its complaint, Palestinian Media Watch describes Rajoub as "justifiably being seen as one of the most influential people on the mood in the PA and the Palestinian street."

During the wave of terrorist attacks that began in October 2015, Rajoub called the attacks "acts of courage by individuals," and said he is proud of them.

In an interview on the PA 's official television station on October 17, 2015, Rajoub encouraged Palestinians to focus their violence on "settlers and soldiers," as quoted by Palestinian Media Watch.

"We are proud of them," Rajoub said. "Those who struggle, die as martyrs, are arrested or injured, their identity is known. The fighter, the prisoner and martyr are assets to the whole Palestinian nation.

"The international community will not agree for a bus to explode in Tel Aviv, but the international community does not ask what happens to the settler or soldier in the occupied territories in the wrong place at the wrong time. No one asks about him. No one asks about him," he repeated.

"Therefore," Rajoub added, "we want to struggle in a way that the world and the international community will stay on our side."

Palestinian Media Watch said this is a clear call for terrorism against civilians, soldiers and police officers in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, whose Jewish residents the PA calls settlers.

Three months later, Rajoub said that Fatah "encourages and blesses" the assailants, and "considers them heroes and a crown on the heads of all Palestinians."

"Are we for or against? I say, we in the central committee [of Fatah] discussed this, and we are in favor," he said on official Palestinian television.

Several days later, on the same TV station, Rajoub said the "martyrs" are heroes.

"We bless you, commend your families, and say to you, you are a crown on heads," he said.

Palestinian Media Watch also gave several examples from before 2015.

The organization said it found Rajoub to have violated the law against incitement, and also the military order against it in the West Bank.

"The evidence clearly demonstrates how incitement among the Palestinian Leadership, over the last three terrorism waves since 1996 until today, has directly affected the violence on the ground," Palestinian Media Watch founder Itamar Marcus said at the Israel Victory Caucus event. "It is necessary to stop respecting the immunity of senior Palestinian Authority officials for their incitement."

Palestinian Media Watch Head of Legal Strategies Lt. Col. (res) Maurice Hirsch, formerly head of the military prosecution in Judea and Samaria, argued that "the evidence against Rajoub constitutes a basis for investigation, prosecution and conviction. There ought to be an understanding, according to which the Palestinian Authority, and especially senior officials such as Jibril Rajoub, cannot be allowed to promulgate incitement without legal proceedings being instituted against them.

"Turning a blind eye to incitement does not help us reach peace; on the contrary, it generates hate and terrorism," Hirsch said.

Israel Victory Caucus co-chairman MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) said "the time has come to stop being content with talk about Palestinian incitement, and to try to actively and concretely fight it."

The Knesset Israel Victory Caucus includes 26 MKs from across the political spectrum who believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will end only when the Palestinian leadership recognizes Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and acknowledges defeat in the long-lasting war it has waged against Israel.

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