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EU shamefully “inspired” by Palestinian supporter of terror

By Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

To mark International Women’s Day, the section of the European Union that works with the Palestinians created a number of videos focusing on prominent Palestinian women. One of the women featured under the EU’s hashtag “#InspiredByHer” was Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam . While highlighting the achievements of women is indeed a worthy enterprise, the EU’s choice of Ghannam as role model is simply outrageous.  

Alongside her other activities, Ghannam constantly hails and glorifies Palestinian terrorists, including mass murderers. 

Among those celebrated by Ghannam are terrorist Dalal Mughrabi – murder of 37; Jewish baby murderers; murderers of Jewish female teenagers; and many others.

In the past, as a result of her support for terror and in response to a comprehensive report prepared by Palestinian Media Watch, Ghannam was even stripped of an award given to her by the Philadelphia City Council.

Given her extensive support for terror and terrorists, PMW is calling on the EU to immediately remove the video it created, and erase all EU support for Ghannam.     

The following are just a few examples of the terror glorification by the woman who “inspires” the EU:

Glorifying mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi

Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway in 1978, killing 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.

Every year, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah celebrate the anniversary of the attack. As part of her expression of “pride” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 13, 2016] in Dalal and her co-terrorists, Ghannam said:

“District Governor Dr. Laila Ghannam... emphasized that the blood of our female Martyrs flows in the veins of every Palestinian, and that the woman was and will remain a pioneering symbol and man’s partner in the struggle and decision making. Likewise, she [Ghannam] asked Allah to spread his mercy over the male and female Martyrs... and emphasized that every Palestinian that belongs to her land and [adheres to] her basic principles is a sister of Dalal [Mughrabi, i.e., murderer of 37].”

[Official Facebook page of Ramallah & Al-Bireh Governorate, March 12, 2016]

Participating in the “Dalal Mughrabi Festival” at a school for girls, Ghannam “blessed all the women of Palestine – who have brought children into the world, fought, and built glory that will not be erased.” [Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, Mar. 13, 2019]

Visiting the family of one of the murderers of 17 year-old Rina Schnerb

In August 2019, a terror cell belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an internationally designated terror organization, planted a bomb at a popular spring. When the Schnerb family reached the site, the terrorists detonated the bomb, murdering 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and critically injured her father and brother.

Visiting the family of Qassam Barghouti, one of the terrorist murderers of Rina in response to the demolition of their house, Ghannam chose to turn morality on its head. Instead of condemning the terror attack and its perpetrators, Ghannam claimed that the deterrent move adopted by Israel was an attack on civilians.

The images show Ghannam with the mother of terrorist Qassam Barghouti.

Posted text: “Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam and the [Palestinian] National and Islamic Forces in the district visited the family of prisoner Qassam Barghouti, whose home in the village of Kubar was demolished by the occupation’s bulldozers early this morning, Monday [May 11, 2020].

Ghannam emphasized that the occupation’s destruction of the Barghouti family’s home is a new crime that is added to the crimes that it is committing every day against our defenseless people. She noted that the house destructions are a blatant violation of human rights and of all the international conventions and norms.

Ghannam demanded that the international community intervene immediately and pressure the occupation government in order to stop the series of these recurring crimes against our people. She noted that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s right-wing government is ignoring all of the international conventions by attacking civilians and destroying their homes on baseless excuses.

District Governor Ghannam blessed the mother of prisoner Qassam Barghouti and his family. She explained that the policy of house destruction and collective punishment that the occupation government is implementing will not break our people’s willpower.”

[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, May 11, 2020]

Does the EU genuinely think it appropriate to honor a woman who fails to condemn the senseless murder of a 17-year-old Jewish girl?

Visiting the mother of 5 terrorist murderers

Um Nasser Abu Hmeid (Um Yusuf Abu Hmeid/Latifa Abu Hmeid) is a Palestinian woman famous and admired in the PA for being the mother of 5 terrorist prisoners serving life sentences for murder (4 of them serving multiple life sentences), and another son whom the PA refers to as a "Martyr." Abu Hmeid is also called the “Khansa of Palestine”, which refers to Al-Khansa from the earliest period of Islam who sent her four sons to battle and rejoiced when they all died as Martyrs.

Visiting Abu Hmeid for Ramadan, Ghannam whished for the freedom of all the terrorists, calling them “brave” and “lauded”:

Posted text: “[Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor] Dr. Laila Ghannam visited the Khansa of Palestine, Um Yusuf Abu Hmeid (i.e., mother of terrorists responsible for at least 10 murders; see note below), for the [Muslim fasting] month of Ramadan, and conveyed blessings to all the families of the prisoners who are behind bars in the occupation’s prison. She wished for freedom for all our brave male prisoners and our lauded female prisoners.”

[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, May 12, 2020]

On a separate occasion, Ghannam outrageously elevated Um Hmeid to "a symbol for Palestinian women"


Ghannam: "The women of Ramallah and of the homeland are the mothers of the Martyrs; the mothers of the prisoners - "the living Martyrs"; the female prisoners - the women of all of us; the female Martyrs... We will begin with a blessing for the woman who stood before the ruins of her house five times when it was demolished - Um Yusuf Abu Hmeid... and she is the mother of [Islam] Yusuf Abu Hmeid (i.e., terrorist, murdered 1) and the mother of all the young people to whom we send all the blessings. She is truly a symbol for Palestinian women who have struggled and shown that our will is stronger than this occupation."

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Oct. 26, 2019]

Visiting the family of a baby murderer

Asem Barghouti is a Palestinian terrorist who carried out 2 shooting attacks: Together with his brother Saleh Barghouti and other terrorists, he shot and wounded 7 Israelis - a pregnant woman, her husband, another man, and 4 teenagers - in a drive-by terror attack on Dec. 9, 2018. The pregnant woman was severely wounded and doctors had to deliver her baby prematurely before operating on her. The baby, Amiad Yisrael Ish-Ran, died three days later. Four days later, Dec. 13, 2018, Barghouti shot and murdered 2 Israelis and seriously wounded 2 others in another shooting attack.

Visiting the family of the triple murderer, Ghannam wished for his freedom.

Posted text: “[Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor] Dr. Laila Ghannam, Fatah Branch Secretary in the [Ramallah and El-Bireh] District Muwaffaq Sahwil, and members of the branch during their visit to the family of prisoner Asem Barghouti (i.e., terrorist, involved in murder of 3, including unborn baby) who was sentenced to 4 life sentences by the occupation yesterday [June 24, 2020]. Ghannam wished for freedom soon for prisoner Barghouti and all of our male and female prisoners behind the bars of the occupation’s prisons.”

The images show Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam visiting the family of terrorist Asem Barghouti.

[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, June 25, 2020]

Visiting the family of the murderer of a Israeli government minister and sundry other murderers

Hamdi Qur’an is a Palestinian terrorist and member of the PFLP terror organization who, together with Basel Al-Asmar, murdered Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze'evi “Ghandi” at a hotel in Jerusalem on Oct. 17, 2001. Qur’an is serving a life sentence and an additional 100 years.

During her visit to the family of Qur’an, Ghannam again sent her blessings to the “brave” male terrorists and “lauded” female terrorists. In addition to expressing her “appreciation” for the “resolve” of the terrorists and their families, Ghannam added that “the prisoners’ homes are homes of fighters, which are worthy of all the honor and support.”

Posted text: “During a tour of El-Bireh today, Tuesday [May 19, 2020], Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam visited the father of prisoner Hamdi Qur’an, who is sentenced to life, and the families of a number of additional prisoners. She conveyed blessings to all our brave male prisoners and our lauded female prisoners in the occupation’s prison.
Ghannam expressed her appreciation for the resolve of the prisonersand their families, and noted that our people and its leadership will not agree to bargaining over the prisoners’ rights. She demanded that the free world, human rights organizations, and humanitarian organizations do what is required of them in light of the harassment, torture, and medical neglect that our prisoners are experiencing.

Ghannam explained that the dignity of our prisoners and their families is a red line, and that our people will remain loyal to them and will not submit to the occupation, which is attempting with all its might to break their willpower. She emphasized that the prisoners’ homes are homes of fighters, which are worthy of all the honor and support because of the suffering they have experienced, their resolve, and their pride despite the injustice, oppression, and torture.

District Governor Ghannam’s tour – during which she was accompanied by Fatah Movement El-Bireh Branch Secretary Maher Muharib and members of the branch – included a visit to the family of prisoner Mazen Al-Qadi (i.e., terrorist, involved in murder of 3), who is sentenced to 3 life sentences and another 25 years.”

The images show Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam visiting the families of the terrorist prisoners.

[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, May 19, 2020]

On the same occasion, Ghannam also visited the family of Mazen Al-Qadi. Together with his accomplice, Al-Qadi drove terrorist Ibrahim Hassouneh to carry out attacks on two restaurants - the Seafood Market and Mifgash Hasteak - in Tel Aviv on March 5, 2002, in which 3 Israelis were murdered. Al-Qadi is serving 3 life sentences and 20 additional years.

Muhammad Khamis Brash is a Palestinian terrorist who shot and murdered Israeli soldiers Elad Wallenstein and Amit Zaneh and Israeli civilian Sarah Lisha on Nov. 13, 2000, at Wadi Al-Haramiya in the West Bank. He is serving 3 life sentences. His brother Ramzi is also a terrorist who was involved in the shooting and murder of Israeli civilian Gadi Rejwan on Feb. 27, 2002, in Atarot, a neighborhood of Jerusalem. Ramzi is serving life in prison.

When Ghannam visited the house of these murderers, she again conveyed her “blessings” to the terrorists.

Posted text: “During a round [of visits] by [Ramallah and El-Bireh] District Governor Dr. Laila Ghannam in the Al-Amari refugee camp with families of prisoners who are sentenced to life. Ghannam asked how they were doing and conveyed her blessings to all the prisoners and their families for Eid Al-Fitr (i.e., Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan).

Dr. Ghannam visited [among others] the families… of prisoners Muhammad and Ramzi Brash (i.e., terrorist brothers, Muhammad murdered 3 and Ramzi was involved in murder of 1) who are sentenced to life.”

The images show Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam visiting the families of terrorist prisoners.

[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, May 27, 2020]

Glorifying the Terrorists from the Savoy attack

In March 1975, 8 terrorists traveled by boat from Lebanon to a Tel Aviv beach. They took over the Savoy Hotel and took guests as hostages. Eight hostages and three soldiers were killed by the terrorists during the attack. The next morning, Israeli forces attacked and killed seven of the terrorists. Laila Ghannam glorifies these terrorists as “Martyrs” and whose souls are “honored by the Lord of the Universe.”

After laying wreaths on the graves of "the Martyrs of the Savoy operation," Ghannam was quoted saying that she recited the Quranic Sura of Al-Fatiha "for their pure souls."
["Friends of Laila Ghannam" Facebook page, July 17, 2015]    

On another occasion she hailed the terrorists saying that “their souls have ascended to Heaven and have been honored by the Lord of the Universe.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 25, 2017]

Glorifying terrorists in general

Not wishing to limit herself to specific terrorists, Ghannam also posted general messages, calling terrorists “praiseworthy ones” before whom “we bow our heads”:

Posted text: "All of the best for the Palestinian women every year, every day, and every moment. The Palestinian women have been and will remain a symbol of giving. Freedom for our female prisoners, praise for our female Martyrs, recovery for our female wounded. You are the praiseworthy ones, and we bow our heads before you.
[Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor] Dr. Laila Ghannam"

Text on image above and over the map:
"This is my land
And this is my flag
And indeed, we indeed stand firm

The image shows a woman in traditional Palestinian garb sewing a Palestinian flag. Next to her is the PA map of “Palestine” including all of Israel.

[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, March 8, 2020]

Philadelphia Councilwoman withdraws Ghannam’s “Citation of Honor” due to her terror support

In January 2015, Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria Sánchez awarded Ghannam a replica of the "Liberty Bell" and a "Citation of Honor."

After PMW sent a comprehensive report detailing Ghannam’s terror support and glorification, Sánchez was quick to respond:

“Statement from Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez:

I was invited to attend this event to meet the first woman elected governor in the Palestinian Authority, and whose work was described to me as humanitarian in nature and centered on furthering the rights of women and girls. My office honored her for these reasons.

I fully and unequivocally denounce the sentiments attributed to Governor Ghannam in this video, and have consistently condemned terrorist violence…”

Responding to the decision of Sánchez to withdraw the citation due to “support of terror,” Ghannam reiterated her support for terrorists and murderers:

"We are not interested in citations of honor that require us to slander our fighters and our supporting pillars as terrorists."  

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 23, 2015]

The two other women chosen by the EU as part of their “#InspiredbyHer” camaigna were the PA Minister of Health, Mai Al-Kaila and the Mayor of the Beit Liqya townlet, Areej Assi.