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Dr. Terror and Mr. Peace - How Abbas/Fatah/PLO organizations simultaneously praise, justify, and condemn the Tel Aviv terror attack

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |
  • Fatah, the PFLP, the PLF, and the DFLP - all members of the PLO - praised the terror attack in which 3 were murdered in Tel Aviv on April 7

  • Terrorist’s father - a colonel in the PA Security Forces - praised his son’s terror attack

  • Abbas condemned the attack while simultaneously reinforcing the PA libels used by Palestinians to justify the terror

  • So long as any PLO member organization continues to carry out terror attacks or openly praise and justify terror, the Biden Administration must reject any move to rescind the US designation of the PLO as a terror organization

In an environment in which terror against Israel and Israelis is promoted, encouraged, and even rewarded - all on a daily basis - "it wasn't surprising to see the plethora of Palestinian announcements praising the terror attack in Tel Aviv on April 7, in which 3 Israelis were murdered and many others were injured.

Among those praising the attack were Fatah and its terror wing the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF), all of whom are members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

While Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas heads both Fatah and the PLO, but could not be seen by the international community as staying silent, he issued a mealy-mouthed condemnation in which he said that “killing Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only lead to an additional deterioration of the situation.” [WAFA, official PA news agency, April 8, 2022; official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 9, 2022]

But while Abbas was “condemning” the murders, all the organizations he heads were busy glorifying it.

Fatah praises the Tel Aviv terror attack

At the house of the terrorist on the morning after the attack, Fatah’s military wing lauded the murderer:

“Hundreds of Jenin refugee camp residents came to the family home of the Martyr in a mass procession, while the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades eulogized Martyr Ra’ad and said that he is one of its members.”

 [Sama News, independent Palestinian news agency, April 8, 2022]

Declaring terrorist Ra'ad Hazem a “Martyr” - the highest honor achievable in Islam according to the Palestinian Authority - Fatah Movement Secretary in Jenin Ata Abu Rmeileh said that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Fatah were accompanying the terrorist “to his wedding” - a Martyr's funeral is considered a wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise in Islam:

“On this blessed day, the first Friday of the [Muslim fasting] month of Ramadan, we in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and the Fatah Jenin branch… accompany to his wedding one of the Fatah and Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades leaders in the Jenin refugee camp and Palestine”

[Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), April 8, 2022]

Echoing the PA and Fatah incitement, as exposed by Palestinian Media Watch, that Jews who visit the Temple Mount are carrying out “invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and that they - the Jews - are “settler herds” carrying out “attacks” against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Abu Rmeileh justified the Tel Aviv shooting attack, saying that “this time the Palestinian action is powerful and influential” and that the terrorist was merely “responding” to the “occupations crimes”:

“Martyr Ra’ad responded to all the occupation’s crimes on the land of the refugee camp and throughout the homeland. He responded to the recurring invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the attacks by the settler herds against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the occupation’s crimes against the members of the Palestinian people everywhere.”

[Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), April 8, 2022]

PA Jenin District Governor Akram Rajoub also praised the attack saying that the terrorist Hazem and another terrorist, Ahmed Al-Sa’adi, who was a member of the internationally designated terror organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and who was killed in confrontations with Israeli forces, are “Martyrs” who “died with might and pride for “Palestine, Al-Aqsa, and Jerusalem”: 

Jenin District Governor Akram Rajoub: “In this [Jenin] refugee camp, in this city… [men] died for the sake of Palestine, died for the sake of the Palestinian people’s honor… died for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem. We come to fulfill the duty of condolences for a fighter named Ra’ad Fathi Hazem (i.e., terrorist, murdered 3), the Fatah fighter, who the occupation’s bullets do not distinguish between him and his comrade Ahmed Al-Sa’adi (i.e., Islamic Jihad terrorist) … This is the history of all the fighters and the noble ones... [The occupation forces]…opened fire on them and Martyrs died with might and pride, because they are Palestinians. Allah honored us Palestinians who are on this land to be in Ribat (i.e., religious conflict) until Judgement Day.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, April 10, 2022]

Declaring that while Fatah and PIJ may have policy differences, they are united in their devotion to the terrorists, Rajoub added:

“... We are divided regarding policy… but we are not divided [over the fact] that our children’s blood is pure when it flows while standing against the occupation. This is the policy and the idea that we need to implant in the minds of our children. We … must remain Palestinians as Allah wants us to be, as our people wants us to be, as the blood of our Martyrs wants us to be, and as our prisoners want us to be.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, April 10, 2022]

The Fatah Movement Spokesperson in Gaza, Mundhir Al-Hayek, also used the PA libels that Israel “assassinates” innocent Palestinians, is carrying out attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and is provoking “Muslims’ sensibilities,” to justify the murder of 3:

“The occupation bears responsibility for the escalation… the Palestinian people’s response comes as part of a natural response to the policy of assassinations, killing, and attacks in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the provocations of the Muslims’ sensibilities, particularly in the blessed [Muslim fasting] month of Ramadan.”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, April 7, 2022]

Head of the Fatah Movement Mobilization and Organization Commission’s Information Office Munir Al-Jaghoub used similar tropes to claim that it was the actions of Israel that “have led the young Palestinians to defend themselves”:

“The ongoing Israeli aggression against our people in the occupied territories and the state terror that does not recognize the Palestinian people’s existence and its right to independence and a dignified life, in addition to the ongoing attacks against our holy sites, the daily invasions by the settlers of the Al-Aqsa Mosque plazas with the support of the occupation soldiers, the Judaization of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings, the cutting of the olive trees, the night attacks on the homes of unarmed Palestinians, the daily physical and psychological humiliations at the occupation’s checkpoints, and the ongoing unfair blockade against the Gaza Strip, have led the young Palestinians to defend themselves against this wild aggression as we have seen recently.”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, April 8, 2022]

PFLP praises the Tel Aviv terror attack

Joining Fatah, the PFLP, an internationally recognized terror organization, that is also a member of the PLO, “praised the heroic operation” and incited more terror by calling on all the Palestinian factions to “escalate the resistance in all its forms”:

“The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine praised the heroic operation that took place this evening [April 7, 2022] in central Tel Aviv.

The PFLP emphasized that ‘This operation is a natural response to the continued colonialist occupation and its escalating crimes against our Palestinian people,’ and emphasized that there is no place for the occupation on our land, regardless of how long it lasts.

The PFLP warned against ‘the occupation and its settlers continuing their attacks against our land and their terror against our people.’ It called on the national action factions and the members of our people to escalate the resistance in all its forms at the various sites of confrontation with the occupation, and to take as an example the Tel Aviv operation, which took place today as an unavoidable option in this confrontation.”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, April 7, 2022]

PLF praises the Tel Aviv terror attack

Consistent with the Palestinian approach that all Jews who live anywhere in Israel are “settlers,” the PLF, another member of the PLO, welcomed the “heroic quality self-sacrificing operation” that “led to the deaths and wounding of a number of settlers”:

“Today, Friday [April 8, 2022], the Palestinian Liberation Front said that it welcomes the operation that was carried out yesterday, Thursday, in the depths of Tel Aviv.

In a statement, a copy of which reached [the independent Palestinian news agency] Donia Al-Watan, the PLF said: ‘We in the PLF welcome the heroic quality self-sacrificing operation in the depths of so-called Tel Aviv yesterday evening, Thursday, April 7, 2022, which was carried out by heroic Martyr Ra’ad Fathi Hazem, 29, from the Jenin refugee camp, which led to the deaths and wounding of a number of settlers. We consider it a natural response to the ongoing and escalating crimes of the occupation and its settlers against our unarmed Palestinian people.’”

[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, April 8, 2022]

DFLP praises the Tel Aviv terror attack

The DFLP, which is also a PLO member, similarly praised the attack, calling it a “self-sacrifice operation” that took place in “the heart of the occupation” and which heralded an improvement of the “resistance”:

“Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] (DFLP) leadership member Talal Abu Tharifa said that ‘The self-sacrificing operation indicates a qualitative development in the resistance’s function and the Palestinian people’s struggle activity.’

He emphasized that ‘The occupation’s crimes against our people have caused the resistance fighters to move the operations to the heart of the occupation.’”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, April 7, 2022]

Terrorist’s father praises the attack

While it may not surprise anyone to hear terror supporting organizations praising acts of terror, it is somewhat counter intuitive that a father would openly praise his son for going on an indiscriminate shooting spree, murdering three innocent people in a vicious terror attack. But, when you are entirely immersed in the PA culture of promoting and glorifying murder of Israelis, it is a “natural” reaction. A colonel in the PA Security Forces, terrorist murderer Hazem’s father expressed his “pride” in his son, saying he “did not sacrifice his soul as a Martyr for the easements” offered to the Palestinians by Israel for the Ramadan:

“Fathi Hazem, the father of Martyr Ra’ad [Hazem], who carried out the Tel Aviv operation that took place yesterday evening [April 7, 2022] and caused the deaths of two and the wounding of 14 including four in serious condition (one victim later died of his wounds -Ed.), gave a speech in front of his home in Jenin.

Fathi Hazem said: ‘You will see the victory in your generation and in your era, in the coming years and the coming days. Your eyes will see the change and you will achieve your freedom, your independence, and victory, Allah willing.’ …

He expressed his pride in Ra’ad who raised the flag and sacrificed for the sake of Palestine, which is worthy of full sacrifice, and he ridiculed the occupation’s threats to impose punishments on our people and to cancel the alleged easements [for Ramadan]. He said: ‘My son did not sacrifice his soul as a Martyr for the easements, and he, like our people, wants freedom and independence. Our people wants the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to pray in its plazas, it wants freedom for its children and livelihood in dignity, not permits soaked in humiliation.’”

[Sama News, independent Palestinian news agency, April 8, 2022]

Abbas condemns the attack

While the repeated praise for the terror attack are clearly more representative of the true feelings of the Palestinians and their leadership, Abbas understood that the international community would not see his silence favorably. 

Merely as a means to appease the international community, Abbas condemned the attack but simultaneously reinforced the PA message, noted by many other Palestinian officials as justification for the attack, about the “danger of continuing the recurring invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque”. For good measure, Abbas also warned against “settlers” - i.e., all Jews living in Israel - taking retaliatory actions:

“[PA] President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killing of Israeli civilians yesterday evening, Thursday [April 7, 2022], in a shooting operation in the heart of Tel Aviv. He emphasized that the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only lead to an additional deterioration of the situation, and we all aspire to achieve stability, particularly during the [Muslim fasting] month of Ramadan and the approaching Christian and Jewish holidays.

President Abbas emphasized the danger of continuing the recurring invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the acts of opposition by the extremist settler groups everywhere.

President Abbas warned against settlers and others exploiting this denounced event to carry out attacks and responses against our people.

His Honor noted that the cycle of violence emphasizes that a comprehensive and just permanent peace is the shortest and safest way to provide security and stability to the Palestinian and Israeli peoples and to the region’s peoples.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 8, 2022;
official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 9, 2022]

US designation of the PLO as a terror organization must remain

As PMW recently noted, one of the Palestinian expectations of the Biden Administration is to revoke the 1987 designation of the PLO as a terror organization. Fatah, including its terror wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, was responsible not only for the Tel Aviv attack, but also for many others. The PFLP was responsible for the August 2019 terror bombing that murdered 17 year-old Rina Shnerb and seriously injured her father and brother. Clearly, when members of the PLO are still actively involved in terror and others openly praise and justify terror, it would be entirely unreasonable to even consider the Palestinian request. 

The following are longer excerpts of the items mentioned above:

Jenin District Governor Akram Rajoub: “The words of the Lord of Praise [Allah] are the last word. In this [Jenin] refugee camp, in this city, ‘among the believers are men true to what they promised Allah’ [Quran 33:23, Sahih International translation], who died for the sake of Palestine, died for the sake of the Palestinian people’s honor, died so that the flag of Palestine would continue to flap and wave proudly, died for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem. Distinguished audience, we come to fulfill the duty of condolences for a fighter named Ra’ad Fathi Hazem (i.e., terrorist, murdered 3), the Fatah fighter, who the occupation’s bullets do not distinguish between him and his comrade Ahmed Al-Sa’adi (i.e., Islamic Jihad terrorist who shot at Israeli security forces conducting a counter-terror operation in Jenin and was killed in the ensuing shootout on April 9, 2022), indeed, while we are consoling the Al-Sa’adi family over the death of heroic Martyr Ahmed Al-Sa’adi, the grandson of Farhan Al-Sa’adi. This is a history, this is the history of all the fighters and the noble ones. Today, and especially in these days, we must be united and not listen to the voices of those who want to spread dispute and hatred, as the occupation’s bullet does not distinguish between colors and fighters. Standing against the occupation is not anyone’s monopoly, the door to it is open to everyone who is Palestinian, without connection to the question of what his affiliation is or what political or partisan color he wraps himself in. We must understand the message well. [The occupation forces] have entered the [Jenin refugee] camp many times. They did not enter [only] one home, but rather they entered while spreading death and opened fire in the street, they killed, and Martyrs died in the alleys of this camp and in the streets of the city, just because they are Palestinians, just because they defied the occupation’s policy, and they did not listen to the calls of the criminals and tyrants who called on them to remain in their homes. Therefore, they opened fire on them and Martyrs died with might and pride, because they are Palestinians. Allah honored us Palestinians who are on this land to be in Ribat (i.e., religious conflict) until Judgement Day. He did not say this to any [other] people on the face of the earth, rather he said this to those who are on the land of Palestine, and this is an honor that Allah has given us. We must preserve [this honor] and continue implanting the consciousness among all our children, and we will not distinguish between anyone, and we will not distinguish between political parties. Indeed, we are divided regarding policy, but we are not divided about standing against the occupation. We are divided regarding policy, but we are not divided about us having one flag that is the flag of Palestine. We are divided regarding policy, and that is something legitimate, but we are not divided [over the fact] that our children’s blood is pure when it flows while standing against the occupation. This is the policy and the idea that we need to implant in the minds of our children. We are the members of one people. We are standing against the occupation, and it does not distinguish between us, between one or the other, it attacks us just because it is an occupation, and just because we are Palestinians. Therefore, we must remain Palestinians as Allah wants us to be, as our people wants us to be, as the blood of our Martyrs wants us to be, and as our prisoners want us to be, while standing against the occupation, and we will not listen to any voice that wants to spread dispute and hatred among the members of the one people. I bless you all and I bless the families of the Martyrs and the families of the prisoners, and we will go from victory to victory and all say in a shared word against the voice of the occupation that growls every morning and evening through our media outlets: There are no terrorists among us. They are the terrorists when they allow the settlers to kill our children in the street. They are the terrorists when they open fire on children in the street. Indeed, the policy of the occupation and the extremist right-wing government that wants to give the land to the settlers and give death to the Palestinian people – this shows that they are the terrorists and not our children who are fighting for the sake of the freedom of Palestine. Thank you and may Allah bless you.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, April 10, 2022]

Ra'ad Hazem - 28-year-old Palestinian terrorist who shot and murdered 3 Israeli civilians - 27-year-olds Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini and 35-year-old Barak Lufan - and wounded 14 others when he opened fire on a crowded bar on Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022. Hazem escaped the scene of the attack and was found hiding near a mosque in Jaffa by Israeli security forces several hours later. He opened fire on them and was killed in the ensuing shootout.

Raed Al-Sa’adi – senior member of the Islamic Jihad terror organization’s military wing. According to Palestinian sources, Al-Sa’adi was arrested by Israel in 1987 and is serving 2 life sentences and an additional 20 years. PMW was unable to verify the details of his crimes.

Headline: “A colonel in the PA, the occupation demanded that the father of Martyr Ra’ad turn himself in and this is how he responded to them”

“Fathi Hazem, the father of Martyr Ra’ad [Hazem] (i.e., terrorist, murdered 3), who carried out the Tel Aviv operation that took place yesterday evening [April 7, 2022] and caused the deaths of two and the wounding of 14 including four in serious condition (one victim later died of his wounds -Ed.), gave a speech in front of his home in Jenin.

Fathi Hazem said: ‘You will see the victory in your generation and in your era, in the coming years and the coming days. Your eyes will see the change and you will achieve your freedom, your independence, and victory, Allah willing.’ …

He expressed his pride in Ra’ad who raised the flag and sacrificed for the sake of Palestine, which is worthy of full sacrifice, and he ridiculed the occupation’s threats to impose punishments on our people and to cancel the alleged easements [for Ramadan]. He said: ‘My son did not sacrifice his soul as a Martyr for the easements, and he, like our people, wants freedom and independence. Our people wants the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to pray in its plazas, it wants freedom for its children and livelihood in dignity, not permits soaked in humiliation.’

The Martyr’s father called for unity and a tightening of the ranks, and said to those gathered: ‘I say to them that they will see the liberation, and what I see today is that the Jenin refugee camp is the spearhead of Palestine, it is the spearhead of the entire nation.’ He called for patience, discretion, and resolve in carrying out this responsibility until the promise of Allah, who heralded to the believers about Paradise, is realized…

Hundreds of Jenin refugee camp residents came to the family home of the Martyr in a mass procession, while the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (i.e., Fatah’s military wing) eulogized Martyr Ra’ad and said that he is one of its members…

Fatah Movement Jenin [Branch] Secretary Ata Abu Armila gave a speech in which he eulogized Martyr Ra’ad, and he said that he carried out the operation in response to the occupation’s crimes and its attacks and those of its settler herds against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and everywhere in Palestine.”

[Sama News, independent Palestinian news agency, April 8, 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.