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Official PA media emphasizes its commitment to terrorists and murderers

Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Itamar Marcus  |
  • “The cause” of terrorist murderers is “official PA media’s center of focus

  • Head of PA media met with 5 released murderers: “Our Martyrs and heroic prisoners' sacrifices are medals of honor for our people and our Arab nation”

The Palestinian Authority stresses its support for terrorist murderers of Israelis in numerous ways. 

One of the significant ways the PA expresses this support to the Palestinian population, as Palestinian Media Watch has exposed, is - under instructions from PA Chairman Abbas - to highlight the terrorist prisoners and “Martyrs” as heroes in the official media. 

Recently, the head of official PA media, General Supervisor Ahmad Assaf, followed these orders to the letter. He met with 5 released terrorist murderers and stated that “our Martyrs and heroic prisoners' sacrifices are medals of honor for our people and our Arab nation.” Assaf further confirmed that official PA media considers the focus on the prisoners and the released prisoners – i.e., terrorists – a “supreme priority”:

“Assaf emphasized that the cause of the prisoners and released prisoners is at the official [PA] media’s center of focus and is a supreme priority, due to it being a national cause that interests the leadership – which is represented by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas – and all members of the Palestinian people. Assaf – who received released prisoners Muhammad Al-Sabbagh (i.e., terrorist, murdered 3), Osama Abu Hananeh, Ahmad Qadura (i.e., terrorists, murdered 1 together with accomplices), Mukhlis Sawafta (i.e., terrorist, murdered 1 together with an accomplice), and Hazza Al-Sa’adi (i.e., terrorist, murdered 2 together with an accomplice) in his office in Ramallah yesterday [Oct. 1, 2019]… – noted that our Martyrs and heroic prisoners' sacrifices are medals of honor for our people and our Arab nation, and that they [the sacrifices] guide us to continue on our path towards freedom and independence. He explained that the official media’s role is to defend the national project, and that this project… will achieve its goals through the Palestinian people’s sacrifices, and foremost among them the Martyrs and prisoners.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 2019]

Assaf also signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr. At this event, Assaf expressed admiration for terrorists and murderers – “the brave prisoners” - and emphasized that all official PA media – “written, audible, visual, and internet-based” – are interested in them:

“Assaf emphasized during the meeting… that one of the constants in the activity of the official [PA] media in all of its elements – written, audible, visual, and internet-based – is interest in the cause of the brave prisoners, both those in the Israeli occupation state’s detention centers who are standing firm against the Israeli hangman, and the released prisoners who have sacrificed their best years for the freedom and independence of the homeland and their people. He explained that the official media is covering all of the activities and events that are connected to the prisoners.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 9, 2019]

Abbas increases direct control of PA media
Furthermore, PA and Fatah Chairman Abbas has instituted even more control of the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida by establishing a “branch office” of his Fatah Movement at the paper. Fatah Central Committee member and Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization Jamal Muhaisen stated that Fatah has established such committees at various institutions, but “particularly at the media institutions”:

"The Fatah Movement Commission of Mobilization and Organization announced the establishment of a branch office of the movement at the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida [official PA] daily… Muhaisen welcomed the establishment of the movement’s office at Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and emphasized the commission's actions for the establishment of movement committees at the [various] institutions, and particularly at the media institutions due to the media’s national role in serving our people’s just cause."

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 20, 2019]

This focus on the terrorists in the PA media together with the generous salaries the PA pays imprisoned and released prisoners, and its allowances to wounded terrorists and families of dead terrorist “Martyrs,” together with the PA’s naming of schoolssporting events, streets etc. after terrorists, cements public perceptions of terrorists as Palestinian national heroes. Moreover, this confirms that contrary to the PA commitments at the Oslo Accords and contrary to the PA’s condemnation of terror to foreign leaders, support for terror remains a foundation of PA identity. 

The following are longer excerpts of the reports mentioned above:

Headline: “Assaf and Abu Bakr sign a memorandum of understanding between the [Palestine] Broadcasting Corporation and the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs”
“General Supervisor of the Official [PA] Media [with the rank of] Minister Ahmad Assaf and Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday [Oct. 8, 2019] between the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) and the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs.
Assaf emphasized during the meeting… that one of the constants in the activity of the official [PA] media in all of its elements – written, audible, visual, and internet-based – is interest in the cause of the brave prisoners, both those in the Israeli occupation state’s detention centers who are standing firm against the Israeli hangman, and the released prisoners who have sacrificed their best years for the freedom and independence of the homeland and their people.
He explained that the official media is covering all of the activities and events that are connected to the prisoners.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 9, 2019]

Headline: “Assaf during his meeting with a delegation of released prisoners: The prisoners’ cause is the official [PA] media’s top priority”
“General Supervisor of the Official [PA] Media [with the rank of] minister Ahmad Assaf emphasized that the cause of the prisoners and released prisoners is at the official [PA] media’s center of focus and is a supreme priority, due to it being a national cause that interests the leadership – which is represented by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas – and all members of the Palestinian people.
Assaf – who received released prisoners Muhammad Al-Sabbagh (i.e., terrorist, murdered 3), Osama Abu Hananeh, Ahmad Qadura (i.e., terrorists, murdered 1 together with accomplices), Mukhlis Sawafta (i.e., terrorist, murdered 1 together with an accomplice), and Hazza Al-Sa’adi (i.e., terrorist, murdered 2 together with an accomplice) in his office in Ramallah yesterday [Oct. 1, 2019]… – noted that our Martyrs and heroic prisoners' sacrifices are medals of honor for our people and our Arab nation, and that they [the sacrifices] guide us to continue on our path towards freedom and independence.
He explained that the official media’s role is to defend the national project, and that this project… will achieve its goals through the Palestinian people’s sacrifices, and foremost among them the Martyrs and prisoners.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 2019]

Osama Abu Hananeh - Palestinian terrorist, who together with accomplices Osama Al-Silawi, Ahmad Abd Al-Aziz and Muhammad Turkeman, murdered Motti Biton and wounded his wife Molly near Jenin in October 1992. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was released in October 2013 as one of 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.

Ahmad Abd Al-Aziz Qadura – Palestinian terrorist who, together with Osama Al-Silawi, Muhammad Turkeman and Osama Abu Hananeh, murdered Motti Biton and wounded his wife Molly near Jenin in October 1992. Qadura was serving a life sentence, but was released in October 2013 as one of 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.

Mukhlis Sawafta – Palestinian terrorist who, together with an accomplice, stabbed and murdered Israeli Yosef Malkin on Dec. 29, 1990. Sawafta was serving a life sentence but was released in December 2013 as one of the 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.

Hazza Al-Sa’adi – Palestinian terrorist who, together with Othman Bani Hassan, murdered Yosef Eliahu and Leah Elmakais while they were hiking on Mount Gilboa on July 21, 1985. Al-Sa’adi was serving a life sentence, but was released from prison in October 2013 as one of 104 terrorists whom Israel agreed to release to fulfill the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations.

Headline: "The election of the [Fatah] Movement's branch office at Al-Hayat Al-Jadida"
"The Fatah Movement Commission of Mobilization and Organization announced the establishment of a branch office of the movement at the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida [official PA] daily.
The commission supervised the election of the movement's office [members] at Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, in a democratic process in which the movement's members at the daily participated.
Fatah Central Committee member, Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization [in the West Bank, and PLO Central Council member] Dr. Jamal Muhaisen yesterday [Oct. 19, 2019] received the members of the movement's branch office at the daily in the presence of Editor-in-Chief Mahmoud Abu Al-Hija and Secretary of the movement’s Central Office for the [PA] Government Offices and Government Bodies Haitham Amr…
Muhaisen welcomed the establishment of the movement’s office at Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and emphasized the commission's actions for the establishment of movement committees at the [various] institutions, and particularly at the media institutions due to the media’s national role in serving our people’s just cause."

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 20, 2019]