Topic | Choose topic/s and define your search
Affiliations / Personalities
Sources
Date Range

Why is Martyrdom-death “unique in Palestine”?

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
"Martyrdom in Palestine is unique. We are the only ones who celebrate the news of a Martyr's wedding," says host on official PA TV

Death as a "Martyr" for Allah and for "Palestine" - during terror attacks and other violent confrontations with Israel - has been promoted as an ideal by the Palestinian Authority for years, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch.

The elevated status "Martyrs" enjoy in the PA was recently stressed by a host on official PA TV, who bragged that "Martyrdom in Palestine is unique," because a Martyr's funeral is considered "a wedding." A mother of a "Martyr" present in the TV studio expressed her opinion that death as a Martyr is "an honor": 

Official PA TV host: "Praise Allah, I want to say that this Martyrdom always is-"

Mother of a "Martyr": "An honor."

Official PA TV host: "Exactly! Martyrdom in Palestine is unique. We are the only ones who celebrate the news of a Martyr's wedding."

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Aug. 27, 2019]
A Martyr's funeral is considered a wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise in Islam.

These expressions of support for dying as a "Martyr" come as no surprise. PMW has documented numerous mothers and fathers who have expressed joy when their terrorist children died as "Martyrs." This is what the PA has taught them and what is expected of them. The following are examples of mothers praising their dead children's Martyrdom, collected in one video (additional texts below):

"I hold my head high. The honor is mine. I have a son who is a Martyr."
[Official PA TV, Sept. 24, 2002]
"[My son] told me: 'In this entire world, I can't think of anyone to marry... I want to marry the Dark-Eyed (i.e., Virgins of Paradise).' I said: 'If these are his thoughts, I wish him Martyrdom.'"
[Official PA TV, Jan. 21, 2003]
"I ask Allah to give him the reward of a Martyr... I greet all the people who came today to accompany my son at his wedding (i.e., to the Virgins of Paradise). My son is a sacrifice for the homeland, for Palestine, for Islam, and a sacrifice for all of Palestine."
[Official PA TV, Feb. 17, 2018]
"By Allah, today is the best day of my life. I feel that our Lord is pleased with me, because I'm offering something [my son] to Him. I wish to sacrifice more... It's true that there's nothing more precious than children, but for the sake of Allah - what is precious becomes cheap."
[Quds Network YouTube channel, March 2002]

Songs on official PA radio even encourage mothers to be "make sounds of joy" when their children die as "Martyrs":

"We have watered this land

with blood for you, my country

Make sounds of joy, O mother of the Martyr

Congratulations on the Martyrdom-death

Allah, Allah, Allah...

We are men who do not fear death."

[Official PA radio station, Sept. 15, 2018, Sept. 17, 2019]

One of Fatah's senior officials, Abbas Zaki, emphasized in a speech to young students who finished their matriculation exams, the ideal of Martyrdom-death and the strength of the mothers of the "Martyrs" because "they make sounds of joy for the Martyrs": 

 

Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki: "Palestinian women are the strongest women in the universe because they make sounds of joy for the Martyrs and sing for the grooms. Blessings to you Dalal Mughrabi (i.e., terrorist who led murder of 37) and the sisters of Dalal."
[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki, Aug. 13, 2019]

To stress the primary status of "Martyrs" - and terrorists in general - in the PA, PA Chairman Abbas himself has instructed official PA media to "represent the cause of the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners," as PMW reported. About terrorists, Abbas recently said that they are "the most sanctified":

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "We will not agree that they [Israel] consider our Martyrs terrorists - our Martyrs, the homeland's Martyrs! And we will not agree that they deduct one penny from their money. All of their money will return to them - because for us the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners are the most sanctified."

[Facebook page of the PA Presidential Office, Aug. 10, 2019; Official PA TV News, Aug. 11, 2019]

The following are longer excerpts of the reports mentioned above and additional statements by mothers of Martyrs appearing in the PMW video collection:

Official PA TV host 1: "According to all of the humanitarian laws and all of the world's religions, the dead are respected by being buried, especially when this dead person is a Martyr, a Martyr for a cause, a Martyr for a right, a Martyr for humanity, a Martyr of Palestine - the most exceptional case in the entire world. The occupation has ignored all of the humanitarian conventions and has abandoned human sensibilities by holding the bodies of our sons, brothers, and people year after year. The Martyrs are numbered (refers to numbered cemeteries, Israeli cemeteries for temporary burial of terrorists; see note below -Ed.), not only from Palestine but also Arab Martyrs, who were fighters for our just cause - and we don't know where they are."
 
Official PA TV host 2: "Right, and we always say that they are not numbers but rather Martyrs, and we reject these designations and always demand [that they] return our sons to the warmth of Palestine's ground."
 
Host 1: "Glory and eternity! We always say: 'And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision' [Quran, Sura 3:169, Sahih International translation]. Praise Allah, I want to say that this Martyrdom always is-"
 
A "Martyr's" mother in the studio: "An honor."
 
Host 1: "Exactly! Martyrdom in Palestine is unique. We are the only ones who celebrate the news of a Martyr's wedding (i.e., a Martyr's funeral is considered a wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise in Islam), but this joy must be completed by us accompanying him amidst his family and people, and by his land - for which he lived his entire life - embracing him."
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Aug. 27, 2019]

The Cemeteries for Enemy Casualties (numbered cemeteries) are two burial sites maintained by the Israeli army for burying the bodies of enemy soldiers during wartime as well as terrorists. They are fenced and well-marked. Graves have markers instead of gravestones. Burial is temporary, as the bodies are eventually returned to their countries of origin. No ceremony is held. The bodies are buried in numbered caskets after their identities are documented.

Abbas on terrorists: Our Martyrs and prisoners are the most sanctified

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "We will not agree that they [Israel] consider our Martyrs terrorists - our Martyrs, the homeland's Martyrs! And we will not agree that they deduct one penny from their money. All of their money will return to them - because for us the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners are the most sanctified."
[Facebook page of the PA Presidential Office, Aug. 10, 2019; Official PA TV News, Aug. 11, 2019]
 
Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.  The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount.  During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018]
 
Headline: "Assaf: We have received the greatest honor from the mothers of the Martyrs and the prisoners"
"General Supervisor of the Official [PA] Media [with the rank of minister] Ahmad Assaf said that 'We have received the greatest honor from the mothers of the Martyrs and the prisoners.' Assaf said this during a tribute ceremony held yesterday [July 25, 2019] at the [Palestine] Broadcasting Corporation headquarters in Ramallah for the journalists who are members of the official media...
Assaf also expressed his pride that the official media is representing the cause of the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners under the instructions of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, who is constantly reemphasizing that this is our people's most important cause."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 26, 2019]

Ahmad Assaf also holds the positions of Chairman of the Board of the official PA news agency WAFA and General Supervisor of Fatah-run Awdah TV.

Palestinian mothers celebrate their children's death as “Martyrs”

"Praise Allah, my children asked for Martyrdom. It's better than other ways to die."
[Official PA TV, Dec. 5, 2002]
 
"Allah chose him [to be] among the Martyrs, praise Allah. Praise Allah, our God chose him, praise Allah."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Feb. 6, 2018]
"How beautiful is your Martyrdom.
You have placed a crown [upon my head] and a star upon my shoulders...
[I gave] the most beautiful gift."
[Al-hyat.com, Nov. 19, 2014]
 
"I'll make sounds of joy during the [home] demolition, like I made sounds of joy when the child died as a Martyr."
[Official PA TV, March 27, 2019]
 
"We knew that he wanted to die as a Martyr. Praise to Allah, he sought Martyrdom, and he achieved it. My message to every mother is to sacrifice her child for Palestine."
[Official PA TV, Feb 11, 2010]
 
"By Allah, we welcome every Martyr as if he were a groom among us."
[Official PA TV, Feb 11, 2010]
"Let out cries of joy, O Martyr's mother,
let out cries of joy...
Let out cries of joy, O Martyr's mother, let out cries of joy
And wait for him, even if he is delayed"
[Facebook page of Fatah's Nablus branch, Jan. 7, 2018]
 
Related View all ❯