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Summer camp for "young leaders" named after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi

Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook  |
Palestinian summer camp for "young leaders"
named after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi

by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

A summer camp in Bethlehem is the latest institution in the Palestinian Authority to be named after the leader of the worst terror attack in Israel's history.

According to the official PA daily newspaper, the new camp is named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led a 1978 bus hijacking in which 37 civilians, 12 of them children, were killed. The newspaper reports that the camp "aims at training young leaders" in the Bethlehem area:

"The Ministry of Social Affairs in Ramallah opened yesterday in El Bireh the fourth integration camp for people with special needs, and in Bethlehem the second Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi camp [opened]... The second Dalal Mughrabi summer camp was opened in the headquarters of Light of Generations' youth association in Bethlehem, with support from the National Committee for Summer Camps and the One Voice Palestine organization in Ramallah. It aims at training young leaders in the eastern countryside of Bethlehem District. Present [at the opening] were... the Secretary of Fatah's Bethlehem branch, Yusuf Al-Aref, ..., Chairman of the [Light of Generations' youth] association, Ibrahim Mubarak, Muhammad Khalil - camp director... 70 young girls from the Dar Salah village and neighboring villages participated."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 29, 2010]

As PMW has documented, the PA has turned Mughrabi into a celebrated hero and role model. Schools, summer camps, landmarks and centers for youth and education have been named after her.

Click here to see the section of PMW's website about Mughrabi's elevation from terrorist to hero.

The camp has received support from the National Committee for Summer Camps, which is under the supervision of the PA's Ministry of Youth and Sports, according to the ministry's website. The general coordinator of the camps committee, Mousa Abu Zaid, is also the PA's Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports.

In a recent article, Zaid wrote that Palestinian summer camps teach children "through precept and example about the importance of dialogue and tolerance in life." []

The other supporter cited in the article about the Mughrabi camp is One Voice Palestine. According to its website, the members of this international movement are "fed up with the ongoing conflict" and "ready and eager to support a serious process" leading to a peace agreement. []

In March this year, the PA and Fatah named a square near Ramallah after Mughrabi, and her attack has been celebrated by a spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction as "the most glorified sacrifice action in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle" [Al-Ayyam, July 13, 2008]. The PA celebrated the 31st anniversary of her killings with an hour-long TV special that opened with the narrator glorifying the attack.

Click here to see PMW's report From Terrorists to Role Models on the PA's policy of glorifying terrorists.