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Fatah calls for “popular uprising” – Palestinians respond with 3 stabbing attacks

Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Itamar Marcus  |
  • “The Fatah Movement called on the masses of our people for an urgent popular uprising in all the Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps”

  • At Fatah procession, “the speakers called on the masses of our people to carry out a comprehensive popular uprising in all the districts of the homeland”

Yesterday, two Palestinian terrorists carried out stabbing attacks against Israelis. One used a kitchen knife to stab and wound two Israeli teenagers in central Jerusalem, while another attempted to stab Israeli soldiers with a screwdriver at the Gush Etzion junction. A few days earlier, another terrorist used a knife to try and stab an Israeli security officer in the Old City of Jerusalem. All three attacks followed the call by Abbas’ Fatah Movement for “an urgent popular uprising in all the Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps,” which the movement issued following the recent escape of the 6 terrorists from prison. The official PA daily found this message so important that it printed it two days in a row:

“The Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah called on the masses of our people to come out for an urgent popular uprising in all the Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps as a sign of support for the prisoners. It emphasized that it ‘will stand together with the masses of our people alongside our heroic prisoners and will not leave them alone in the battle.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 9 and 10, 2021]

As Palestinian Media Watch has documented “popular uprising” is a term used by Palestinians that also refers to violence and terror. The PA repeatedly called the “knife intifada” of 2015 – 2016 in which 40 people were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, a “popular uprising.”

Similarly, at a procession in Jenin organized by Fatah, “the speakers called on the masses of our people to carry out a comprehensive popular uprising in all the districts of the homeland”:

“Hundreds of civilians participated in a procession yesterday evening [Sept. 9, 2021] for the sake of the prisoners… The procession, which was organized by Fatah in partnership with the forces in Jenin… the participants waved the Palestinian flag and pictures of… the prisoners who succeeded in achieving their freedom from Gilboa Prison…

The speakers called on the masses of our people to carry out a comprehensive popular uprising in all the districts of the homeland.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 10, 2021]

Other Palestinian leaders likewise threatened violence. PA Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina threatened “no peace or stability” unless all terrorists are released:

“[PA] Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina… emphasized that our brave prisoners in the Israeli occupation’s prisons are the heroes of our Palestinian people and there will be no peace or stability without the release of all our prisoners and detainees. The prisoners’ cause is a red line and our Palestinian people and its leadership will not allow it to be harmed under any circumstances.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 10, 2021]

Right after the terrorists escaped from prison, the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs warned that if Israel “harmed” the escapees it was “liable to lead to a real explosion within the prisons and outside of them”:

Posted text: “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs holds the occupation fully responsible for the lives of the prisoners of Gilboa Prison

Sept. 6, 2021

‘We also hold the occupation government fully responsible for the lives of the six prisoners, as the attempt to search for them and reach them is based on criminal and systematic foundations, and harming their lives – if they find them – is liable to lead to a real explosion within the prisons and outside of them.”

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Sept. 6, 2021]

The Fatah Movement echoed this, proclaiming that all Palestinians would “stand against” Israel, were any prisoners to be harmed:

Official PA TV newsreader: “The Fatah Movement emphasizes that the prisoners are a red line and it will not allow that they be harmed from any direction, and it noted that our entire people will stand against any action that the occupation state will attempt to carry out against our prisoners.”

[Official PA TV News, Sept. 8, 2021]

Bassel Shawamreh - 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist from the Hebron area who stabbed and wounded 2 Israelis near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station on Sept. 13, 2021. Shawamreh was shot and apprehended during the attack by Israeli border police officers; two additional suspected accomplices were also arrested.

Muhammad Mahmoud Bilu - 27-year-old Palestinian terrorist who attempted to stab Israeli soldiers with a screwdriver at the Gush Etzion junction on Sept. 13, 2021; Bilu was shot and apprehended during the attack.

Hazem Al-Joulani - 51-year-old Palestinian terrorist from East Jerusalem and director of a medical college who attempted to stab Israeli security officers in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sept. 10, 2021, before being shot and killed by the officers in self-defense.

2021 Gilboa Prison escape – 6 Palestinian terrorist prisoners escaped from Israel's Gilboa Prison on Sept. 6, 2021, by widening the hole of the shower drainpipe in the floor of their cell. One terrorist is from Fatah - Zakariya Zubeidi, and the other five are from Islamic Jihad - Ayham Kamamji, Muhammad Ardah, Mahmoud Ardah, Yaqub Qaderi, and Munadil Nafiyat. Four of the terrorists were recaptured after five days: Zubeidi, Ardah, Ardah, and Qaderi. Kamamji and Nafiyat remain at large as of Sept. 12, 2021. Zubeidi was head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Fatah's military wing) in the Jenin area during the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005), when he oversaw numerous lethal attacks, and he also carried out shooting attacks in 2018-2019. Kamamji participated in the murder of 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri on June 25, 2006, and planned to blow up a bus using an exploding car. Muhammad Ardah participated in initiating and executing a suicide bombing on bus no. 823 on Nov. 29, 2001, in which 3 people were murdered and many others were wounded. Mahmoud Ardah was involved in numerous attacks; the website of Islamic Jihad’s military wing defined him as the "commander" of the prison escape. Qaderi committed a shooting attack on Sept. 18, 2002 with an accomplice in which Israeli Yosef Ajami was murdered and a foreign worker was wounded. Nafiyat was being held in administrative detention.

The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above:

Headline: “Mass-participant processions as a sign of support for the prisoners, confrontations with the occupation in the northern districts of the homeland”

“The Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah called on the masses of our people to come out for an urgent popular uprising (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) in all the Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps as a sign of support for the prisoners (refers to 6 terrorist prisoners including Zakariya Zubeidi who escaped from prison -Ed.). It emphasized that it ‘will stand together with the masses of our people alongside our heroic prisoners and will not leave them alone in the battle.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 9 and 10, 2021]

The terms "peaceful uprising/resistance,” and “popular uprising/resistance" are used by PA leaders at times to refer to peaceful protest and at times to refer to deadly terror attacks and terror waves. For example, ‎Mahmoud Abbas defined as “peaceful popular” the murderous terror during the 2015-2016 ‎terror wave (“The Knife Intifada”), in which 40 people were killed (36 Israelis, 1 Palestinian, 2 Americans and 1 Eritrean) and hundreds wounded in stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks. Abbas said: "We want peaceful popular uprising, and that’s what this is." https://palwatch.org/page/9276

Headline: “The prison intifada – the occupation is continuing to oppress and the prisoners threaten an escalation; this is how the freedom tunnel knights succeeded in achieving their freedom, and the occupation established a governmental investigative committee”

“Hundreds of civilians participated in a procession yesterday evening [Sept. 9, 2021] for the sake of the prisoners and in a demand to return the bodies of the Martyrs of Jenin and its refugee camps, which are being held by the occupation.

The procession, which was organized by Fatah in partnership with the forces in Jenin, set out from the Jenin refugee camp and passed through the streets of the city. During the procession the participants waved the Palestinian flag and pictures of the Martyrs and the prisoners who succeeded in achieving their freedom from Gilboa Prison (refers to Gilboa Prison escape; see note below -Ed.), and made calls holding the occupation authorities fully responsible for the prisoners’ lives…

Those giving speeches emphasized that Fatah and our people with all its elements will continue the struggle until the release of all the prisoners from the occupation’s prisons. They held the occupation authorities fully responsible for the lives of the six prisoners who broke the chains and succeeded in achieving their freedom, and praised liberated prisoner Zakariya Zubeidi (i.e., terrorist, responsible for numerous attacks) and his comrades

The speakers called on the masses of our people to carry out a comprehensive popular uprising (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) in all the districts of the homeland in order to pressure the occupation to hand over the bodies of the Martyrs and to support the prisoners and their resolve.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 10, 2021]

Headline: “Abu Rudeina: All of the settlement is illegal and our prisoners are a red line and our people’s heroes

“[PA] Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina… emphasized that our brave prisoners in the Israeli occupation’s prisons are the heroes of our Palestinian people and there will be no peace or stability without the release of all our prisoners and detainees. The prisoners’ cause is a red line and our Palestinian people and its leadership will not allow it to be harmed under any circumstances.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 10, 2021]

Nabil Abu Rudeina also serves as PA Minister of Information, Fatah Commissioner of Information, Culture, and Ideology, and Fatah Central Committee member.

Official PA TV newsreader: “The Fatah Movement emphasizes that the prisoners are a red line and it will not allow that they be harmed from any direction, and it noted that our entire people will stand against any action that the occupation state will attempt to carry out against our prisoners. Fatah Revolutionary Council member and official [Fatah] Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi expressed Fatah’s pride on its behalf for our heroic prisoners and noted that they have the full right to take their freedom by force, and that their natural place is among their family members and their people and not in the occupation’s cruel prison cells.”

[Official PA TV News, Sept. 8, 2021]

Posted text: “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs holds the occupation fully responsible for the lives of the prisoners of Gilboa Prison

Sept. 6, 2021

The Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs asked the legal and humanitarian institutions, and particularly the International Committee of the Red Cross, to immediately go to the Gilboa Prison to reveal the fate of more than 400 prisoners who were transferred to unknown locations after six prisoners succeeded in digging a tunnel and escaping from the prison (refers to prison escape on Sept. 6, 2021 by 6 prisoners including Zakariya Zubeidi; see note below -Ed.)…

The Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs added: ‘We also hold the occupation government fully responsible for the lives of the six prisoners, as the attempt to search for them and reach them is based on criminal and systematic foundations, and harming their lives – if they find them – is liable to lead to a real explosion within the prisons and outside of them. The international community’s institutions must warn Israel and its army against the danger of doing this.’

The commission emphasized that the escape stems from the Israeli tyranny that is being directed against our male and female prisoners in the occupation prisons, whose lives are a target for attack and who are being subjected to attacks, provocations, and robbery. Medical and humanitarian crimes are also being committed against them around the clock (sic., see note below regarding PA libel on medical abuse of Palestinian prisoners)…

The commission wishes health and security to the prisoners who succeeded in escaping, and calls on the international community to bear its responsibility to protect them if they are found.”

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Sept. 6, 2021]

Libel on medical abuse of Palestinian prisoners - the PA claims that Israel abuses Palestinian prisoners, through medical neglect, medical experiments, and by intentionally infecting them with diseases. However, the International Red Cross regularly visits these prisoners and has not documented or accused Israel of any of these claims. Likewise, lists of demands occasionally issued by the prisoners during hunger strikes - such as during one in 2011 - include no demands relating to these claims. PMW has documented prisoners talking about how they "lack nothing" in the prisons, and that "the worst thing about Israeli prison" is riding in a prison vehicle that has no padding on the seat. When PMW contacted the Israeli Ministry of Health in 2007 regarding PA claims of medical experiments on prisoners, the ministry responded: "Clinical testing on prisoners in prison was never approved, never performed, and is most certainly not taking place at present."