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Is Fatah promoting Jihadi tourism to Jerusalem?

Itamar Marcus and Ephraim D. Tepler  |
  • Fatah spokesman: Turkish tourist Hassan Saklana who stabbed a Jew “ascended to Heaven while carrying out a self-sacrificing operation in the Old City of Jerusalem”

In February, Palestinian Media Watch reported about how the PA praised American soldier Aaron Bushnell for potentially sparking a movement in which people around the world would move from mere protests to actions of self-sacrifice against Israel. A writer for the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida even went so far as to say that Palestinian-styled self-sacrifice, one of the PA euphemisms for suicidal attacks, serves as an example for all humanity.

Last week, a 34-year-old Turkish imam visiting Israel took a page from the PA attack playbook when he stabbed and wounded an Israeli border policeman near Herod’s gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Turkish tourist’s attack was labeled by Fatah’s spokesman as a “self-sacrificing operation,” just as it did for Bushnell’s self-immolation.

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Fatah Spokesman in Jerusalem Ma'arouf Al-Rifai: “In April there was one Martyr [in Jerusalem], namely Turkish tourist [Hassan Saklana] (i.e., terrorist) who ascended to Heaven while carrying out a self-sacrificing operation in the Old City of Jerusalem.”

[Official PA TV, May 2, 2024]

The terminology that the Fatah spokesman used to praise this attack also falls in line with the fundamentalist religious doctrine of the PA. In its communication with the international community, the PA pretends its war with Israel is territorial, but its own people are taught that Islam prohibits Israel’s existence, that killing Israeli Jews is therefore mandated by the Quran, and that it is an Islamic act.

Accordingly, instead of condemning the attempted murder, Fatah has praised it as an act rewarded by Allah, and the PA under PA law will reward the family of the Jihadi tourist with a monthly stipend of 1,400 shekels for life.

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