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The making of a Palestinian terror superstar

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

Murderer of 2 has street, square, mosque, and football tournament named after him and monument erected in his honor
 

Fatah and the PA heaped praise upon him: 

"A source of inspiration for our children"

"We are following in your footsteps"

"A national model"

"Glorify his heroism and courage"

"A hero"

"Honor and pride"

"Continue [his] path"

"Perpetuate the memory"

"Heroic Martyr"

"The Jihad fighter"

"The perfect person"

  • Fatah Student Movement embraced murderer in election campaign at Birzeit University

  • Fatah pledged to rebuild murderer's home

Before March 17, 2019, Omar Abu Laila was just an ordinary unknown 19-year-old Palestinian teenager. 

Now he is a Palestinian superstar and role model.

Abu Laila was turned into a hero and role model for Palestinians in just two weeks by the PA and Fatah for choosing the path of terror, murdering Israeli soldier Gal Keidan and Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, a father of 12 on March 17, 2019. Abu Laila was subsequently killed during an exchange of gunfire with Israeli soldiers, and the PA and Fatah declared him a "Martyr."

So far, the murderer has had a street, a square, a mosque and a football tournament named after him, and a monument erected in his honor by the PA and Fatah - both institutions headed by Mahmoud Abbas. In addition, Fatah's student movement Shabiba has embraced murderer Abu Laila as their new hero and specifically promoted him to Palestinian university students as a role model to emulate. 

In a video for its election campaign at Birzeit University, Fatah's Shabiba included footage from a Fatah rally which displayed big posters of murderer Omar Abu Laila. Words in the video explained that Fatah Shabiba is "the love of the rifle" and is "facing death like great ones": 

"Because it is the dagger's sheath and the love of the rifle

Because it is the [Fatah] Shabiba Student Movement

Because it is the Shabiba of the Elder [Yasser Arafat]

And because it is the light and the fire...

Allah! Palestine! Fatah!...

Where you walk with it [Shabiba], the world trembles

Shabiba! ...

We are standing in the line of fire in the dark of the black night

Facing death like great ones, and pushing away the one who disobeys...

From Birzeit to Gaza, Fatah's victory is certain"

Official Fatah Facebook page, April 15, 2019

Fatah's Shabiba also organized a football championship named after murderer Abu Laila at the Hebron branch of the Al-Quds Open University, together with the university's student union council. As if this wasn't enough glorification of terror, several of the teams were also named after terrorists and murderers, including arch-terrorist Abu Jihad who orchestrated terror attacks in which 125 Israelis were murdered:

The Martyr Omar Abu Laila football championship

Among the teams: 

The Martyr Marwan Zalum team- terrorist commander responsible for several lethal attacks

The Martyr Mahmoud Ghneimat team - terrorist, wounded 1

The Martyr Saleh Al-Barghouti team - terrorist, murdered 1

The Martyr Abu Jihad team - terrorist, responsible for murder of 125

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 16, 2019]
 

At the opening of the championship, the acting Dean of the Al-Quds Open University (Hebron branch) Abd Al-Qader Al-Darwish glorified murderer Abu Laila as a hero:

"Martyr Omar Abu Laila wrote the most spectacular stories of heroism, sacrifice, and self-sacrifice." 

The Student Union Council Chairman Saleh Jabbar praised the murderer as a "national model" and "a source of inspiration for our children":

"Martyr Omar Abu Laila represented the national model when he ascended to Heaven as a Martyr, and this was after he delighted the sons of his homeland and seriously wounded the occupying Zionist entity... His name will continue to serve as a source of inspiration for our children until we establish our state, whose capital is Jerusalem, on our national land."

Shortly after Abu Laila "died as a Martyr," official PA TV announced the naming of a mosque and a square after him, and displayed a sign with the text "Martyr Omar Abu Laila Street":

Official PA TV newsreader: "Masses from the Ramallah and Salfit district participated in a procession in the streets of the village of Abwein, where Martyr Omar Abu Laila ascended [to heaven], and where a mosque and square have been named after him."

Official PA TV News, March 29, 2019

PA TV also broadcast from a rally organized by Fatah in honor of Abu Laila. Fatah expressed its "honor and pride" in the murderer on a poster, and the secretary of the district branch of Fatah explained that Palestinians came to stress that they "continue" on "Martyr Omar Abu Laila's path": 

 

Text on poster: "With all honor and pride, Fatah announces the death... of its heroic Martyr Omar Abu Laila"

Official PA TV News, March 29, 2019

Fatah's Ramallah and El-Bireh District Branch Secretary Muwaffaq Sahwil: "After 11 days, the village of Abwein welcomed the Martyr's relatives and [members of] the Salfit district, in order to emphasize the continuation of the Palestinian people on Martyr Omar Abu Laila's path in defying the occupation and the occupation's crimes. Here in Abwein, a mosque will be named after Martyr Omar Abu Laila."

Official PA TV News, March 29, 2019

In addition, a monument was erected in his honor in his home town:

Posted text: "A monument in memory of Martyr Omar Abu Laila near the site of his death as a Martyr, in Abwein."

Text on monument: "The Palestinian National Liberation Movement [Fatah]

Martyr Omar Abu Laila from Al-Zawiya, who died as a Martyr on the land of Bruqin on March 19, 2019"

Official Fatah Facebook page, March 28, 2019

The municipality of the town of Bruqin in the murderer's home district decided to name one of the main streets after Abu Laila, and the mayor announced this was to "perpetuate the memory of our righteous Martyrs":

"Bruqin Mayor Bashir Salman said: 'The municipality has decided to name Al-Baq'an Street - located at the town's main entrance from the east, and one of the town's main streets - after Martyr Omar Abu Laila. This is in order to perpetuate the memory of our righteous Martyrs.'

Salman added: 'The initiative to name [the street] after Martyr Abu Laila stems from the interest and pride of the town of Bruqin and the towns of the Salfit district in the Martyrs of the district and the homeland, and is meant to perpetuate their memories.'"

Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 27, 2019

Quds, independent Palestinian news website, March 28, 2019

The official PA daily further stated that "the decision was received with satisfaction by the residents of the town." And that they "saw it as honoring one of the district's Martyrs, who carried out a heroic operation that frightened the occupation and exhausted it."

Fatah announced the decision to name the street after the murderer on its official Facebook page, featuring a photo of the decision and signatures of the members of the town council, who stated that the naming of the street after the murderer was to "glorify his heroism":

Posted text: "The Bruqin Municipality in the Salfit district decides to name the main street leading to the town 'Martyr Omar Abu Laila Street,' in order to glorify the heroism and courage of Martyr Omar Abu Laila, may Allah have mercy on him."

Text on paper: "In order to glorify the heroism of Martyr Omar Amin Abu Laila, the town council has decided to name the main street leading to Omar Abu Laila Square, from where the heroic Martyr left the Al-Baq'an area: Omar Abu Laila Street."

Official Fatah Facebook page, March 24, 2019

At the Fatah rally, two Fatah members also glorified murderer Abu Laila in a speech, vowing to follow his path: 

Men in uniform: "Whom did they pursue?

Whose gunshots are a victory?...

Tell me, who are you?

I'm Omar [Abu Laila].

I'm the one who confronted [the Israelis].

I'm the young man...

I'm the one who carried a knife and a gun.

I'm the one who frightened the enemy soldiers.

I'm the Jihad fighter standing firm and loyal to the cause.

I'm the one who sacrificed for the Al-Aqsa [Mosque].

For 6,500 prisoners.

For the righteous Martyrs...

For all of Palestine and Gaza.

Omar, you have not died, because within every one of us an Omar will be born, and we are following in your footsteps."

Posted text on the official Fatah Facebook page: "How the brave village of Abwein welcomed the family of heroic Martyr Omar Abu Laila - [the video is] from the site where he died as a Martyr"

Official Fatah Facebook page, March 30, 2019

The naming of lasting structures and sporting events after a terrorist murderer are classic examples of the method the PA and Fatah use to motivate and encourage Palestinians - and particularly youth - to carry out terror attacks and kill Israelis. The message is clear: If you kill Israelis you are a hero and will have streets and sports tournaments named after you, monuments erected in your honor, and masses will participate in rallies in admiration for you. 

These examples also emphasize the PA's double speak. Palestinian Media Watch exposed Abbas' deception of American students from Harvard University to whom he claimed the PA is against terror. This systematic glorification of a terrorist murderer again exposes his duplicity.

PMW documented that Fatah hurried to praise the murderer the week he was killed, calling him "heroic" and "the perfect person" deserving of a "military salute." The local Fatah branch called him "a daring fighter," a "lion," and "Rambo of Palestine."

Likewise, the official PA daily described murderer Abu Laila's death in heroic terms and stressed that his room "remained standing firm" when Israeli authorities demolished his home:

"For five days the occupation army did not cease persecuting the Abu Laila family, even after the last battle in which their son Omar [Abu Laila] was victorious in his death as a Martyr on the night of March 19 [2019], after he refused to hand himself over to the hundreds of soldiers who surrounded him in the village of Abwein, north of Ramallah...

Despite the two explosions and the destruction of the home, Omar's room remained standing firm and was very partially and minimally damaged compared to the complete destruction of the rest of the parts of the home."

Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 25, 2019

The murderer's mother said she made "sounds of joy" when her son "died as a Martyr":

Ghadir Abu Laila, mother of murderer Omar Abu Laila: "Even if they [Israel] bring me 100 [home] demolition notifications, let them demolish. Since [my] precious one has gone, I don't care about the home. If they'll demolish, that's normal. I'll make sounds of joy during the demolition, like I made sounds of joy when the child died as a Martyr." 

Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, March 27, 2019

Following the demolition of the murderer's home, Abbas' Fatah Movement has pledged to rebuild it:

"The Fatah Movement has launched an initiative, in partnership with Salfit District institutions, to rebuild the home of Martyr Omar Abu Laila's family... The movement announced the establishment of a committee, including five people from the Salfit branch of Fatah and institutions of the district, which has purchased a new lot of land in the village... and the machines have begun to remove the rubble and dig into the ground in preparation for building the foundations of the new house."

Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 25, 2019

The following are longer excerpts of the reports on the football tournament, street, and mosque named after murderer Abu Laila:

Headline: "Al-Quds Open University in Hebron organizes a football championship named after Martyr Omar Abu Laila"

"The Student Union Council and [Fatah] Shabiba Student Movement at the Hebron branch of Al-Quds Open University organized a football championship named after Martyr (Shahid) Omar Abu Laila (i.e., terrorist, murdered 2) in order to commemorate him.

Seven teams named after Martyrs participated in the championship. The teams were split into two groups. The first included teams named after [former PLO Chairman and PA President] Martyr Yasser Arafat, Martyr Marwan Zalum (i.e., terrorist commander responsible for several lethal attacks), Martyr Imad Al-Hawamdeh (apparently refers to Palestinian rioter killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers near Hebron in 2000 -Ed.), and Martyr Mahmoud Ghneimat (i.e., terrorist, wounded 1), while the second group included teams named after Martyr Hassan Albo (i.e., Palestinian rioter killed during clashes), Martyr Saleh Al-Barghouti (i.e., terrorist, murdered 1), and Martyr Abu Jihad (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 125 Israelis).

Acting Dean of the [Al-Quds Open University] Hebron branch Abd Al-Qader Al-Darwish opened the championship. He conveyed to the participating students the blessings of University President Prof. Younes Amr and his pride in the student movement. He said that Martyr Omar Abu Laila wrote the most spectacular stories of heroism, sacrifice, and self-sacrifice. Student Union Council Chairman Saleh Jabbar said that Martyr Omar Abu Laila represents the national model when he ascended to Heaven as a Martyr, and this was after he delighted the sons of his homeland and seriously wounded the occupying Zionist entity. He added that his [Abu Laila's] name will continue to serve as a source of inspiration for our children until we establish our state, whose capital is Jerusalem, on our national land."

Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 16, 2019

Omar Abu Laila – 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist who stabbed and murdered Israeli soldier Gal Keidan, and shot and murdered Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, a father of 12, at Ariel Junction on March 17, 2019. Abu Laila was killed on March 19, 2019, during an exchange of gunfire with Israeli soldiers who attempted to arrest him.

Yasser Arafat – Founder of Fatah and former chairman of the PLO and PA. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s Arafat was behind numerous terror attacks against Israelis. Although he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres “for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East" after signing the Oslo Accords peace agreement, Arafat launched a 5-year terror campaign - the second Intifada (2000-2005) – in which more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered. Arafat died of an illness in 2004.

Marwan Zalum - Palestinian terrorist and commander of the Hebron branch of the Tanzim (Fatah terror faction). He was responsible for several terror attacks in the Hebron region, including sending the terrorist who in a shooting attack murdered the infant Shalhevet Pass in her stroller on March 26, 2001. He organized the planting of a bomb in southern Hebron, which murdered Israeli soldier Shai Cohen on July 9, 2001, and initiated a shooting attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba on July 12, 2001, in which 1 person was murdered. Zalum also provided the explosive device used in a suicide attack at the entrance to Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda open market on April 12, 2002, in which 6 Israelis were murdered and 80 wounded. Zalum was killed by the Israeli army on April 22, 2002.

Mahmoud Khaled Ghneimat – 20-year-old Palestinian terrorist who, together with another terrorist, 20-year-old Miqdad Al-Heeh, stabbed and injured an 18-year-old man in Bet Shemesh, on Oct. 22, 2015. They were shot and wounded by Israei police, and Ghneimat later died of his wounds.

 Hassan Albo – 23-year-old Palestinian killed during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in Halhoul, near Hebron, on Nov. 13, 2015. Palestinian sources say he was killed by Israeli gunfire. The Israeli army is investigating the incident.

Saleh Barghouti – Palestinian terrorist who, together with his brother Asem Barghouti and other terrorists, shot and wounded 7 Israelis - a pregnant woman, her husband, another man, and 4 teenagers - in a drive-by shooting attack next to Ofra, north of Jerusalem, on Dec. 9, 2018. Saleh Barghouti was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during an attempt to apprehend him, during which other terrorists from the attack were taken into custody; Asem Barghouti – who also participated in the Givat Assaf shooting attack on Dec. 13, 2018, in which 2 were murdered - was arrested on Jan. 8, 2019.

Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir) - was a founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. He headed the PLO terror organization's military wing and also planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks in the 1960’s - 1980’s. These attacks, in which a total of 125 Israelis were murdered, included the most lethal in Israeli history - the hijacking of a bus and murder of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.

Headline: "Despite the explosion and the destruction, Martyr Omar Abu Laila's room stands firm"

"For five days the occupation army did not cease persecuting the Abu Laila family, even after the last battle in which their son Omar [Abu Laila] (i.e., terrorist, murdered 2) was victorious in his death as a Martyr on the night of March 19 [2019], after he refused to hand himself over to the hundreds of soldiers who surrounded him in the village of Abwein, north of Ramallah.

Yesterday morning [April 24, 2019] the occupation blew up his family's home twice after invading his village of Al-Zawiya west of Salfit for over 10 hours with 30 military vehicles, two military bulldozers, and about 300 soldiers...

Despite the two explosions and the destruction of the home, Omar's room remained standing firm and was very partially and minimally damaged compared to the complete destruction of the rest of the parts of the home.

Amin Abu Laila, the Martyr's father, stood over the ruins of his home in which seven people lived, smiling and unwavering after the withdrawal of the occupation forces, and welcomed members of his village and the neighboring villages who gathered in their dozens in order to express solidarity with them. He said: 'All that we have is a sacrifice for the pure soul of Omar and Palestine. The Palestinians have never attributed importance to a home or its stones. Omar was loved by the family, and today he is loved by the Palestinian people, the Arab world, and everyone who believes in the justice of our cause and who strengthens our hands.' ...

Ghadir, the Martyr's mother, said: ...'I honor every visitor who comes after the destruction of the home, and the occupation will not prevent me from welcoming the visitors and those blessing over my son's death as a Martyr, and from sitting with them on the threshold of the home.' Omar, who went from being expelled to being a fighter, to a Martyr, to a body that is being held [by the occupation], and eventually to having an exploded and destroyed home, was a business management student in his first year at Al-Quds Open University. He liked to play with small children; he took them to the store and bought things for them. He liked cars, fancy watches, and elegant clothing."

Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 25, 2019

Headline: "The occupation blew up the home of Martyr Omar Abu Laila's family"

"Yesterday morning [April 24, 2019] the occupation forces blew up the home of the family of Martyr Omar Abu Laila (i.e., terrorist, murdered 2) in the village of Al-Zawiya west of Salfit...

The Fatah Movement has launched an initiative, in partnership with Salfit District institutions, to rebuild the home of Martyr Omar Abu Laila's family from the village of Al-Zawiya. The movement announced the establishment of a committee, including five people from the Salfit branch of Fatah and institutions of the district, which has purchased a new lot of land in the village in the west of the district, and the machines have begun to remove the rubble and dig into the ground in preparation for building the foundations of the new house. A reporter of [the official PA news agency] WAFA emphasized that the committee will supervise the rebuilding process that is expected to be finished within four months, in addition to providing temporary shelter to the Martyr's family until it is moved to its new house. The occupation forces executed Omar Abu Laila, 19, on March 19 [2019] in an old house in the village of Abwein, north of Ramallah, after a three-day chase, and took his body, claiming he carried out a stabbing operation that led to the death of 2 settlers and the wounding of others next to the settlement of Ariel."

Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 25, 2019

Headline: "The Bruqin Municipality names a street after Martyr Abu Laila"

"The Bruqin Municipality decided to name one of the streets in the town after Martyr (Shahid) Omar Abu Laila (i.e., terrorist, murdered 2), whom the occupation authorities accuse of carrying out the operation (i.e., terror attack) in Ariel, north of the city of Salfit. An occupation soldier and a rabbi were killed in the operation, and an additional soldier was seriously wounded.

Bruqin Mayor Bashir Salman said: 'The municipality has decided to name Al-Baq'an Street - located at the town's main entrance from the east, and one of the town's main streets - after Martyr Omar Abu Laila. This is in order to perpetuate the memory of our righteous Martyrs.'

Salman added: 'The initiative to name [the street] after Martyr Abu Laila stems from the interest and pride of the town of Bruqin and the towns of the Salfit district in the Martyrs of the district and the homeland, and is meant to perpetuate their memories.'

The decision was received with satisfaction by the residents of the town. They saw it as honoring one of the district's Martyrs, who carried out a heroic operation that frightened the occupation and exhausted it, until they reached him and assassinated him."

Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 27, 2019

Official PA TV newsreader: "Masses from the Ramallah and Salfit district participated in a procession in the streets of the village of Abwein, where Martyr Omar Abu Laila (i.e., terrorist, murdered 2) ascended [to heaven], and where a mosque and square have been named after him."

Official PA TV reporter: "Ten days have passed since Martyr Omar Abu Laila ascended [to heaven]... Thousands participated in a procession..."

Fatah's Ramallah and El-Bireh District Branch Secretary Muwaffaq Sahwil: "After 11 days, the village of Abwein welcomed the Martyr's relatives and [members of] the Salfit district, in order to emphasize the continuation of the Palestinian people on Martyr Omar Abu Laila's path in defying the occupation and the occupation's crimes. Here in Abwein, a mosque will be named after Martyr Omar Abu Laila..."

Reporter: "Masses have sworn loyalty to the blood of the Martyrs who have ascended for their homeland. Squares and mosques will bear their names... and the flag of the struggle will continue to wave."

Sign: "Martyr Omar Abu Laila Street"

Fatah poster: "With all honor and pride, Fatah announces the death... of its heroic Martyr Omar Abu Laila"

Official PA TV News, March 29, 2019

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