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The PA/Fatah initiated and fueled terror wave

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |
  • Abbas’ advisor teaches Palestinians: “Ramadan is… not a month of laziness but rather … a month of Jihad, conquest, and victory”

 

There should be no misunderstanding. The current terror wave in which 4 terrorists have murdered 14 people in terror attacks in Israel – the latest of which took place in the heart of Tel Aviv on Thursday -  was initiated and is being fueled by the PA and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party. In order to ignite and perpetuate the terror wave the PA and Fatah are using all their usual methods: Implicit and direct calls for violence; demonization of Israel and Israelis; invoking the false claim that Israel/Israelis are planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque; attacking Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid for walking in Jerusalem; and repeating other sundry libels.

As Palestinian Media Watch has already exposed, in the run up to the Muslim month of Ramadan, the PA intensified its false rhetoric that Israel was seeking to escalate violence and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Those calls were then used as a means to create hatred and recruit the Palestinians to conduct terror attacks.

Speaking on the first day of Ramadan, PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, made the PA expectations of the Palestinians perfectly clear: In the same way as Muslim Prophet Muhammad engaged in war during Ramadan, so too the Palestinians should engage in “Jihad.” Explaining how Muhammad embarked on the Battle of Badr and conquered Mecca during Ramadan, Al-Habbash clarified that Ramadan is “is not a month of laziness but rather … a month of Jihad, conquest, and victory.”

“How was this month [of Ramadan] in the life of Prophet [Muhammad]? … Did the Prophet spend Ramadan in calmness, serenity, laziness, and sleepiness? Far be it from him… The Prophet entered the great Battle of Badr (in 624 CE) during Ramadan... Martyrs fell from among the companions of the Prophet - 14 Martyrs … The companions did not say: “O Prophet of Allah, now is a time of fasting and it is hot” ... On the 17th of Ramadan he set out to Badr, and the great Battle of Badr took place… Also in the month of Ramadan, in the 8th year of the Hijra (i.e., 629-630 CE), the Prophet and the Muslims conquered Mecca... The Prophet did not say and did not think when he decided to set out to liberate Mecca and to conquer Mecca that “Now it’s Ramadan, people are fasting, let’s delay it to after Ramadan” … How can we build [our] lives and lay foundations for Islam if we are lazy, Heaven forbid? Ramadan is not a month of laziness but rather a month of activity, of effort, and of hard work, and as it also was in the life of the Prophet, a month of Jihad, conquest, and victory.”

[Official PA TV, Allah’s Messenger Muhammad, April 3, 2022]

The official PA daily was even more explicit in its incitement of violence. While claiming that the Palestinians aren’t interested in conflict because the world is preoccupied with the Ukraine-Russia war, a regular columnist, Bassem Barhoum, turned reality on its head claiming that Israel is intentionally trying to ”provoke the Palestinians” and carry out “uncontrolled retaliatory acts”:

“It is the interest of Israel, which in the eyes of the world has become a state of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, to go back to manufacturing the perception of the Palestinian ‘terrorist’ who harms civilians. It is marketing that it wants calm, but it is sending the settler herds to the Palestinian villages and to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to provoke the Palestinians and push them into an escalation and carrying out uncontrolled retaliatory acts that it will use as an excuse to carry out extensive aggression against the Palestinian people…”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 2, 2022]

In order to thwart Israel’s alleged plan, Barhoum explained that the Palestinians have chosen the path of “popular resistance” - a Palestinian euphemism for sporadic terror attacks - and that the Palestinians must ”strengthen this type of resistance” to “inflict a heavy cost on the occupation”:

“In addition, the Palestinian people has chosen popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) as the tool to confront the Israeli occupation, and it needs to strengthen this type of resistance and make sure that it will be in an ongoing dynamic, in a manner that will inflict a heavy cost on the occupation and a minimal cost on the Palestinian people.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 2, 2022]

Completing the diatribe, the PA daily left no room to interpretation regarding the expectation of the Palestinians:

“What we need is a joint and agreed upon plan and to leave the cycle of retaliatory acts – a plan that will balance between the continuation of the civilian’s daily life, and that simultaneously the popular resistance will be an ongoing daily act with an impact on the Israeli occupation.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 2, 2022]

Having laid the groundwork with implicit and direct calls for “Jihad” and violence, and to ensure that the Palestinians are sufficiently enraged in order to motivate them to participate in terror, the PA made repeated references to Palestinians killed by Israelis, allegedly without any justification and for no reason. Referring to terrorists killed while carrying out terror attacks the PA daily declared: 

“In less than a week, seven Martyrs for the sake of Palestine ascended to Heaven after being shot by the forces of the occupation, which shoots to kill and for no other reason!

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 3, 2022]

Among those “killed for no reason” were terrorists who carried out shooting attacks, murdering 7 people, others who attempted murder and members in the internationally designated terror organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) that were neutralized on their way to carry out another attack. 

Referring to the terrorists as “pure-hearted Martyrs” and referring to their acts as “popular resistance” the PA daily continued:

“We are bidding farewell to our pure-hearted Martyrs, while they are ascending to the Heavens. Yes, with a painful heart, but [also] with determination to stand firm, defy, and continue on the paths of popular resistance until defeating the occupation and removing it from the land of our state, whose capital is East Jerusalem…”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 3, 2022]

Distorting the call of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet for all Israelis who have gun licenses to carry their weapons during this new wave of terror attacks, as a means of self-defense against the homicidal Palestinian terrorists, the PA daily added:

‘Violence will not bear results’ – we will remain with this logical and objective conclusion, but will the Israeli occupation state support it? Will it do this, while currently it is working to arm the settlers in a way that will turn it into a state of militias, according to the decision of Israeli Prime Minister [Naftali Bennett], which he declared a few days ago? How will there be an end to the violence with a state like this, which sets rifles free in the streets so they will kill as many as they can?”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 3, 2022]

In his speech opening the weekly cabinet meeting, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh warned of the imaginary attempts of “Jewish extremists to violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.” In order to inflame tensions and ignoring the fact that the 3 terrorists neutralized by Israel - see note below about Saeb Abahreh, Khalil Tawalbeh, and Saif Hafzi Abu Libdeh - were members of PIJ on their way to carry out imminent attacks, Shtayyeh baselessly claimed:

“The Prime Minister said that Israel’s justification for the killing of Palestinians as “ticking bombs” warns of a very dangerous escalation, because “Israel considers every Palestinian who is on his land and defends his property as a ticking bomb that necessitates killing him, which is an extremely dangerous matter in light of allowing settlers to carry weapons and kill Palestinians just on the ground of suspicion.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, April 4, 2022]

Abu Libdeh was so convinced that he was destined to die carrying out a terror attack, that he even left a farewell message declaring the he was sacrificing himself “on the path of liberating Muslim Palestine from the defilement of the attacking Jews”. Echoing the words of Al-Habbash, Abu Libdeh demand that people go on “the path of Jihad” and ended that “Jihad is victory or Martyrdom”:

“In the name of All Merciful Allah… I, the humble servant of Allah, the living Martyr, Saif Hafzi Abu Libdeh, testify that there is no God but Allah … I sacrifice myself easily for the sake of Allah, on the path of liberating Muslim Palestine from the defilement of the attacking Jews. I am a Jihad fighter… I declare that I am a Jihad fighter for the sake of Allah, in the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, and I fight under its flag, the flag of mighty Islam, and in order to fly the flag ‘There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger’ above Jerusalem and its surroundings. People of Tulkarem and my beloved Nour Shams [refugee] camp, my friends and dear ones everywhere – I demand of you to have fear of Allah and obey Him… to go on the path of hardships, the path of mighty Jihad… Jihad is victory or Martyrdom.”

[Al-Quds Net news agency, April 2, 2022]

Ignoring the context of Israel’s actions, and negating Israel’s right to defend itself against homicidal terrorists, the PA daily declared:

“The occupation goes too far on its bloody path and assassinates three young people from southern Jenin”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 3, 2022]

Similarly ignoring the fact that terrorist Nidal Ja’afreh - see note below - tried to murder a Jew on a bus by stabbing him with a screwdriver, PA TV claimed that Ja’afreh was “executed … in cold blood.” [Official PA TV, March 31, 2022]. An additional reference added:

Official PA TV reporter: “First, the only certain fact as of this moment is that this was a summary execution. Today a summary execution at the hands of a settler took place. The summary execution policy has been the law and ideology of the occupation government for a number of years.”

[Official PA TV, Reporters in the Field, March 31, 2022]

To enrage the Palestinians further, PA Presidential Office Advisor on Jerusalem Affairs Ahmed Al-Ruweidi took the “Israel is attacking Al-Aqsa” trope to an entirely new level, by warning against a “massacre” of the worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, to be carried out, allegedly, by Israel “and its settlers”:

“Yesterday [April 3, 2022, PA] Presidential Office Advisor on Jerusalem Affairs Ahmed Al-Ruweidi warned against a massacre by the occupation and its settlers against the worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially in light of the escalation and incitement by the settlers…”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 4, 2022]

Referring to the additional forces posted in Jerusalem to prevent Palestinian terror and rioting, Al-Ruweidi claimed that additional security forces coupled with “invasions of the Al Aqsa Mosque” – the PA terminology for Jews exercising their right to visit the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site – are proof that Israel is trying to “escalate the situation in Jerusalem.”  

“The occupation’s large military presence in Jerusalem yesterday, the confrontations that were recorded at the Damascus Gate area, and the invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in large numbers prove that the occupation is striving to escalate the situation in Jerusalem.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 4, 2022]

Not missing an opportunity, the PA even used the visit of Israeli Foreign Minister and alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid to the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s old city as an opportunity to inflame tensions.

The site of many Palestinian terror attacks, the Damascus Gate is in the heart of Jerusalem. Every Israeli, and certainly a minister in Israel’s cabinet, should be able to visit the site without hindrance.

Adopting the baseless threat that Lapid’s “storming” of the Damascus Gate could lead to an “explosion” not only in Israel “but in the region as a whole,” Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the visit was “irresponsible behavior”:

“The storming yesterday of Damascus Gate area in occupied East Jerusalem by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was irresponsible behavior, as well as army, police and settlers’ provocations, all of which could lead to an explosion not only in Palestine but in the region as a whole”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, April 4, 2022]

Broadening the scope of his complaints, Abu Rudeineh added:

“Israel should be fully aware that what is happening at Damascus Gate and other neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the behavior of the occupation police towards Palestinian citizens, the continued suffering of prisoners, the withholding of the bodies of martyrs, and even the official Israeli threats of new military operations in Gaza, all of which will lead to a flare-up of the fire and will damage the already fragile balance of deterrence.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, April 4, 2022]

Abbas’ Fatah also joined the threats. Taking its rhetoric to new levels, Fatah warned that Lapid’s visit to the Damascus Gate and the continued visits of Jews on the Temple Mount would “turn into an open religious war”:

“The Fatah Movement emphasized that the Israeli occupation authorities’ wild behavior during the [Muslim fasting] month of Ramadan is systematic, planned, and heralds an explosion in the situation.

Fatah condemned the acts of aggression that the Israeli occupation authorities are committing every day in occupied Jerusalem, [Israeli] occupation Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid’s provocative break-in to the area of the Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem, and his promises [to enable] the Jewish extremists to break into the Al-Aqsa Mosque…

Fatah warned against the consequences of the occupation government’s aggressive policy, which heralds an explosion in the situation and having the conflict turn into an open religious war that will collapse the international foundations of peace and security and will inflame the emotions of the Muslims worldwide.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 4, 2022]

The PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs also joined the attack on Lapid, saying that his statements confirming the rights of Jews to enter the Temple Mount were:

“Nothing but a denial of the fact that the Jewish extremists are the ones who are attacking the sites that are holy to Christianity and Islam and their Palestinian believers.

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 3, 2022]

Again reconfirming the fact that the PA’s problem with Israel is not territorial, but rather refers to the very presence of Jews in Israel and the very existence of the State of Israel, regular columnist for official PA daily and former advisor to former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on national affairs Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul launched a venomous attack against “Khazar Zionist Judaism” that has been a “most despicable expression of racism” even from “before the establishment” of Israel”:

“I will not say anything new to the readers and followers, and not to those who know the components of the Zionist colonialist project state, when I emphasize for the thousandth time that Khazar Zionist Judaism (sic., genetic research has conclusively proven modern Jews share a common origin in Israel and are not the descendants of Khazars) has throughout the decades of its existence in Palestine been the most blatant symbol and most despicable expression of racism against the peoples of the Arab nation in general, and the members of the Palestinian people in particular.

The Zionist colonialist leaderships – even from before the establishment of their Israeli state in 1948, the year of the Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), and to this very day – are proving that they are deepening and strengthening their racist barbarism, and are elevating and inculcating the murder of ‘goyim’ (i.e., “non-Jews”) – the Arab Palestinian other – for no reason and only because of their national and pan-Arab affiliation and identity, or even because of their Islamic or Christian religious identity.

One of the examples of the public declarations of murder was the statement by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett… who sent a message to the Zionist Jews with weapon permits to carry their weapons with them at all times, in order to shoot live ammunition at Palestinians if they only suspect that any kind of resistance activity is being carried out (refers to call to carry weapons given the wave of lethal terror attacks -Ed.).”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 3, 2022]

Another regular columnist also ignored the Palestinian terror, preferring to claim that Palestinian violence is “always is a response to the provocation by the Israeli side”. He even went as far as to claim that the 1929 Arab riots in which Arabs murdered 130 Jews, was a “response to the Zionist provocation”:

“First, we can’t not talk about the recurring Israeli discourse regarding an escalation during [the Muslim fasting month of] Ramadan. We have been hearing this tune for a number of weeks. I think that if we look back at history, even at the 1920s, we can see that even the 1929 Al-Buraq Rebellion (i.e., the 1929 Hebron Massacre and accompanying riots) was a response to the Zionist provocation… The Palestinian response, and specifically in Jerusalem, always is a response to the provocation by the Israeli side…”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, March 29, 2022]

The PA has previously claimed that the 1929 massacres were a response to the Jews who “read their hymns” at the Western Wall, “in a highly provocative manner.”

The following are longer excerpts of the items mentioned above:

Excerpt of a column by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “Under cover of the demand for calm: What is Israel preparing for us?”

“It is the interest of Israel, which in the eyes of the world has become a state of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, to go back to manufacturing the perception of the Palestinian ‘terrorist’ who harms civilians. It is marketing that it wants calm, but it is sending the settler herds to the Palestinian villages and to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to provoke the Palestinians and push them into an escalation and carrying out uncontrolled retaliatory acts that it will use as an excuse to carry out extensive aggression against the Palestinian people…

The Palestinian people has no interest in escalation in light of the world’s preoccupation with the crisis in Ukraine and the Arab reality in which some of the states have fallen apart and some have carried out normalization [with Israel] (refers to Abraham Accords; see note below -Ed.). In addition, the Palestinian people has chosen popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) as the tool to confront the Israeli occupation, and it needs to strengthen this type of resistance and make sure that it will be in an ongoing dynamic, in a manner that will inflict a heavy cost on the occupation and a minimal cost on the Palestinian people.

We must be careful not to return to the cycle of loss of security control and anarchy, because the only one who benefits from this kind of situation is Israel and regional bodies whose only interest is trading in Palestinian blood and using the Palestinian cause as a card serving their interests and not the Palestinian interest…

I read the statements of the special Palestinian leader, Chairman of the Arab Joint List [political party and Israeli Parliament Member] Ayman Odeh, in which he demanded that the Palestinian factions be careful in their responses to what happened in Be’er Sheva (refers to terrorist Muhammad Abu Al-Qi’an murdering 4 -Ed.) and Hadera (refers to terrorists Ibrahim and Ayman Agbaria murdering 2 -Ed.). He said that the masses of the Palestinian people inside the Green Line (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel; the Green Line is the ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries, 1949-1967) are waging an ongoing struggle to achieve equality, and that historically the spreading of exaggerated and empty slogans has harmed the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people and served the Israeli enemy.

What we need is a joint and agreed upon plan and to leave the cycle of retaliatory acts – a plan that will balance between the continuation of the civilian’s daily life, and that simultaneously the popular resistance will be an ongoing daily act with an impact on the Israeli occupation.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 2, 2022]

Israeli peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain – an agreement normalizing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), called the Abraham Accords, was announced on Aug. 13, 2020, under the mediation of US President Donald Trump. Following the UAE, Bahrain signed a similar peace agreement with Israel, as was announced on Sept. 11, 2020. Pursuant to the Abraham Accords, Israel and the UAE will discuss bilateral cooperation on a number of topics. In exchange for the agreement, Israel agreed to suspend its previously announced plans to apply Israel's civilian law to parts of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley as per the Trump peace plan. The US announced that “Muslims throughout the world who wish to come in peace to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, will now be able to fly to Tel Aviv through Abu Dhabi to do so and will be welcomed.”

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

Muhammad Abu Al-Qi’an – Israeli Bedouin terrorist and ISIS supporter who murdered 4 Israeli civilians – Doris Yachbas, Laura Yitzhak, Rabbi Moshe Kravitsky, and Menachem Yehezkel – and wounded 2 others in a car ramming and stabbing attack at an outdoor shopping mall in Be’er Sheva on March 22, 2022, before two Israeli civilians shot and killed him to stop his rampage. Al-Qi’an was a high school teacher and mosque preacher in Hura in the Negev who previously served 4 years in prison for attempting to join ISIS in Syria and inciting to terror in his sermons; he was released in 2019.

Ibrahim and Ayman Agbaria - Israeli Arab terrorist cousins who murdered 2 19-year-old Israeli border police officers - Yezen Falah and Shirel Abukarat - and wounded 12 other Israelis in a shooting attack with assault rifles and handguns at a bus stop in Hadera on March 27, 2022. Israeli undercover officers at a nearby restaurant shot and killed the terrorists to stop the attack. Ibrahim Agbaria was previously arrested in Turkey in 2016 when he tried to join ISIS in Syria. Before the attack the two terrorists filmed themselves praying in front of an ISIS flag, and afterwards ISIS took responsibility for the attack.

Green Line - 1949-1967 ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) following Israel's War of Independence (1948-1949). Land within the Green Line is all part of the State of Israel since 1949. Land outside the Green Line includes East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights.

Excerpt of an editorial by the official PA daily

Headline: “The source of the terror is the state terror”

“In an interview with the Israeli [TV] channel Kan 11, US Ambassador to Israel Thomas R. Nides said that ‘Terror cannot defeat Israel.’ He added that ‘Murdering people and violence will not bear results.’ We would applaud him if, out of a desire to maintain a balance in his statements and standards, he had noted that the source of the terror is the organized state terror that Israel is implementing every day against the Palestinian people.

In less than a week, seven Martyrs for the sake of Palestine ascended to Heaven after being shot by the forces of the occupation, which shoots to kill and for no other reason! (sic., 10 terrorists were killed during their own attacks and violent riots during the week of March 27 – April 2, 2022; see notes below)…

The most important conclusion that the American ambassador should have drawn is that the organized Israeli terror also cannot defeat the Palestinian people…

We are bidding farewell to our pure-hearted Martyrs, while they are ascending to the Heavens. Yes, with a painful heart, but [also] with determination to stand firm, defy, and continue on the paths of popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) until defeating the occupation and removing it from the land of our state, whose capital is East Jerusalem…

‘Violence will not bear results’ – we will remain with this logical and objective conclusion, but will the Israeli occupation state support it? Will it do this, while currently it is working to arm the settlers in a way that will turn it into a state of militias, according to the decision of Israeli Prime Minister [Naftali Bennett], which he declared a few days ago (refers to Bennett calling on weapon owners to carry their weapons given the recent wave of terror attacks -Ed.)? How will there be an end to the violence with a state like this, which sets rifles free in the streets so they will kill as many as they can?”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 3, 2022]

The “Martyrs” from the week of March 27 – April 2, 2022 are as follows:

Diya Ahmed Hassan Hamarsheh - Palestinian terrorist and Fatah member who shot and murdered 5 people - Israeli civilians Rabbi Avishai Yehezkel and Ya'akov Yisrael Shalom, Israeli police officer Amir Khoury, and 2 foreign workers from Ukraine identified as Alexander and Dmitry - in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv on March 29, 2022. An Israeli police officer shot and killed Hamarsheh, ending the attack. Hamarsheh, from Ya'abad near Jenin, had been working in Israel illegally. He was imprisoned for 6 months in 2015 for dealing in illegal weapons and membership in a terror organization.

Sanad Abu Atiya and Yazid Al-Sa’adi – Palestinian terrorists and reportedly Islamic Jihad members aged 17 and 23 respectively who, together with other terrorists, opened fire on Israeli security forces conducting arrests of 17 terror suspects in Jenin on March 31, 2022. Abu Atiya and Al-Sa’adi were killed in the ensuing exchange of fire, as was another unidentified terrorist, and seven terrorists were wounded; on the Israeli side, one soldier was wounded.

Nidal Ja’afreh – Palestinian terrorist who stabbed and wounded an Israeli civilian using a screwdriver while they were riding on a bus in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem on March 31, 2022. Ja’afreh was shot and killed by two other civilian passengers on the bus, ending the attack.

Ahmed Al-Atrash – 29-year-old Palestinian terrorist who threw a Molotov cocktail at Israeli soldiers who shot and killed him in response while he was participating in violent riots near Hebron on April 1, 2022. Al-Atrash had previously been imprisoned for 8 years – PMW was unable to determine the nature of his crimes.

Saeb Abahreh, Khalil Tawalbeh, and Saif Hafzi Abu Libdeh – Palestinian terrorists and Islamic Jihad members who were killed on their way to committing a terror attack in an Israeli city on April 2, 2022. They opened fire as Israeli forces attempted to arrest them, injuring four Israeli soldiers, one critically, before being shot and killed. In the terrorists' car soldiers discovered weapons and a farewell letter explaining their motivation to kill Israelis and calling on others to do the same. Abu Libdeh also made a video in which he read the letter, which was publicized by Islamic Jihad after the shootout. Tawalbeh was 24, Abu Libdeh was 25, and Abahreh was 30.

Excerpt of an editorial by the official PA daily

Headline: “The source of the terror is the state terror”

“In an interview with the Israeli [TV] channel Kan 11, US Ambassador to Israel Thomas R. Nides said that ‘Terror cannot defeat Israel.’ He added that ‘Murdering people and violence will not bear results.’ We would applaud him if, out of a desire to maintain a balance in his statements and standards, he had noted that the source of the terror is the organized state terror that Israel is implementing every day against the Palestinian people.

In less than a week, seven Martyrs for the sake of Palestine ascended to Heaven after being shot by the forces of the occupation, which shoots to kill and for no other reason! (sic., 10 terrorists were killed during their own attacks and violent riots during the week of March 27 – April 2, 2022; see notes below)…

The most important conclusion that the American ambassador should have drawn is that the organized Israeli terror also cannot defeat the Palestinian people…

We are bidding farewell to our pure-hearted Martyrs, while they are ascending to the Heavens. Yes, with a painful heart, but [also] with determination to stand firm, defy, and continue on the paths of popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) until defeating the occupation and removing it from the land of our state, whose capital is East Jerusalem…

‘Violence will not bear results’ – we will remain with this logical and objective conclusion, but will the Israeli occupation state support it? Will it do this, while currently it is working to arm the settlers in a way that will turn it into a state of militias, according to the decision of Israeli Prime Minister [Naftali Bennett], which he declared a few days ago (refers to Bennett calling on weapon owners to carry their weapons given the recent wave of terror attacks -Ed.)? How will there be an end to the violence with a state like this, which sets rifles free in the streets so they will kill as many as they can?”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 3, 2022]

Headline: “PM Shtayyeh: Israel’s escalation of the situation on the ground risks security and instability”

“The recent Israeli escalation of the situation on the ground in the Palestinian territories, including killings, persecution, arrests and allowing freehand for settlers to commit crimes, poses great risks to security and stability in the region, today said Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

He called in remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting held in Ramallah on the international community to put a stop to these attacks, particularly attempts by Jewish extremists to violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site located in Jerusalem, as they prepare to storm the holy compound during the Muslim fast month of Ramadan.

The Prime Minister said that Israel’s justification for the killing of Palestinians as “ticking bombs” warns of a very dangerous escalation, because “Israel considers every Palestinian who is on his land and defends his property as a ticking bomb that necessitates killing him, which is an extremely dangerous matter in light of allowing settlers to carry weapons and kill Palestinians just on the ground of suspicion.”

He held Israel fully responsible for the dangerous consequences resulting from this escalation, calling on the countries of the world, especially those that provide aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), to fulfill their commitments to ensure the continuation of the work of the agency that provides services to the Palestinian people in Palestine and in all host countries in the region.

Shtayyeh applauded the Human Rights Council for adopting in its last meeting in Geneva a decision on the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people and another on the illegality of settlements built on occupied land, welcoming the Council’s adoption of a draft resolution submitted by the State of Palestine on human rights, ensuring accountability and achieving justice.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, April 4, 2022]

Headline: “Al-Ruweidi: The occupation is striving to escalate the situation in Jerusalem”

“Yesterday [April 3, 2022, PA] Presidential Office Advisor on Jerusalem Affairs Ahmed Al-Ruweidi warned against a massacre by the occupation and its settlers against the worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially in light of the escalation and incitement by the settlers…

In a press release, Al-Ruweidi added that the occupation’s large military presence in Jerusalem yesterday, the confrontations that were recorded at the Damascus Gate area, and the invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in large numbers prove that the occupation is striving to escalate the situation in Jerusalem.

He explained that the occupation is heating up the situation in Jerusalem, and that it has decided to cause an escalation through arrests and harming the worshippers…

Al-Ruweidi added that the dangerous statements being made by the settler leaders confirm that they intend to carry out attacks against the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 4, 2022]

The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, they vilify any presence of Jews on the mount as an "invasion." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.

Headline: “Presidential spokesman: Absence of a political horizon, Israeli provocations bound to inflame the area”

“The absence of a political horizon and the continuous Israeli provocations against the Palestinian people and holy places are bound to inflame not only Palestine, but the entire region, today said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the official spokesman for the Palestinian presidency.

He said in a statement that the storming yesterday of Damascus Gate area in occupied East Jerusalem by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was irresponsible behavior, as well as army, police and settlers’ provocations, all of which could lead to an explosion not only in Palestine but in the region as a whole.

Abu Rudeineh said the rapid developments resulting from the continuing Israeli escalation, whether in the courtyards of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, the daily intrusions by settlers, and the attacks against the Palestinian people in Jerusalem or in the West Bank constitute “a clear and blatant violation that proves Israel's lack of commitment to the understandings and agreements, or to the pledges and positions announced by the administration of the United States, and the efforts made by actors in the region to prevent escalation.”

Abu Rudeineh said, “Israel should be fully aware that what is happening at Damascus Gate and other neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the behavior of the occupation police towards Palestinian citizens, the continued suffering of prisoners, the withholding of the bodies of martyrs, and even the official Israeli threats of new military operations in Gaza, all of which will lead to a flare-up of the fire and will damage the already fragile balance of deterrence.”

He said that the Palestinian leadership holds Israel fully responsible for this escalation, and warns against infringing on Islamic and Christian holy places, stressing that “Jerusalem is not for sale or bargaining.”

The presidential spokesman added that “all regional or international alliances have failed to remove the Palestinians from the equation. The new concept that must go beyond the US and Israeli politics is through the victory of the Palestinian leadership and people over the policy of apartheid and an end to the double standards practiced by Western countries, which have also lost credibility or what was left of it with the peoples of the region and the world.”

He stressed that “the only road to security and stability is very clear, and the address is Ramallah and the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and on the basis of international legitimacy resolutions. Without a political horizon on these fixed points, things will remain explosive and dangerous, and the region will continue to live in tensions and endless conflicts.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, April 4, 2022]

Headline: “The [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns Lapid’s break-in to the Damascus Gate, and says that his statements illustrate the apartheid regime”

“The [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the provocative break-in by Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid into the area of the Damascus Gate in the Old City [of Jerusalem], and his promises to the Jewish extremists to deploy more members of the occupation forces and its police in Jerusalem, on the pretext of securing them during the Jewish holidays.

The ministry said that these promises clearly incite against the Palestinians and cast accusations at them in advance…

The ministry emphasized that Lapid’s statements are nothing but a denial of the fact that the Jewish extremists are the ones who are attacking the sites that are holy to Christianity and Islam and their Palestinian believers. The Israeli apartheid regime is also being expressed this time in the words of Lapid, who completely ignores how [Jerusalem] is occupied land, and is breaking into it as an occupier to confirm the completion of the security measures to oppress the Palestinian civilians. The dozens of police and security members who secured Lapid are nothing but decisive proof that he is an occupier and that he is afraid to walk on occupied land.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 3, 2022]

Regular columnist for the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Bassem Barhoum:

“First, we can’t not talk about the recurring Israeli discourse regarding an escalation during [the Muslim fasting month of] Ramadan. We have been hearing this tune for a number of weeks. I think that if we look back at history, even at the 1920s, we can see that even the 1929 Al-Buraq Rebellion (i.e., the 1929 Hebron Massacre and accompanying riots) was a response to the Zionist provocation… The Palestinian response, and specifically in Jerusalem, always is a response to the provocation by the Israeli side… I think that the one who wants to escalate is the Israeli side. Therefore, I think that [Jordanian] King Abdullah II’s visit [to Ramallah on March 28, 2022] is included in this context, and it comes to restrain the Israeli plan for an escalation (refers to a visit on the same day as the March 2022 Negev Summit attended by Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, and the UAE as part of the Abraham Accords, which Jordan did not attend -Ed.).”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, March 29, 2022]

Excerpt of a column by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for official PA daily and former advisor to former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on national affairs

Headline: “Bennett calls to kill Palestinians”

“I will not say anything new to the readers and followers, and not to those who know the components of the Zionist colonialist project state, when I emphasize for the thousandth time that Khazar Zionist Judaism (sic., genetic research has conclusively proven modern Jews share a common origin in Israel and are not the descendants of Khazars) has throughout the decades of its existence in Palestine been the most blatant symbol and most despicable expression of racism against the peoples of the Arab nation in general, and the members of the Palestinian people in particular.

The Zionist colonialist leaderships – even from before the establishment of their Israeli state in 1948, the year of the Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), and to this very day – are proving that they are deepening and strengthening their racist barbarism, and are elevating and inculcating the murder of ‘goyim’ (i.e., “non-Jews”) – the Arab Palestinian other – for no reason and only because of their national and pan-Arab affiliation and identity, or even because of their Islamic or Christian religious identity.

One of the examples of the public declarations of murder was the statement by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett… who sent a message to the Zionist Jews with weapon permits to carry their weapons with them at all times, in order to shoot live ammunition at Palestinians if they only suspect that any kind of resistance activity is being carried out (refers to call to carry weapons given the wave of lethal terror attacks -Ed.).”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 3, 2022]