The Ministry of Strategic Affairs has recently released a report detailing the incitement within the Palestinian Authority and Hamas against Jews, Israel and Israelis which covers the last quarter of 2018.
Principal Points and Trends
- Over the last few weeks, the scope of incitement and hate-speech in the Palestinian arena has remained high. These trends, such as the Palestinian Authority’s and Fatah’s institutional embrace of terrorism, is occurring alongside an uptick in other fields such as: incitement for terror attacks in the West Bank led by Hamas; calls to oppose the normalization process between Israel and the Arab countries and a smear campaign claiming Israel deliberately targets Palestinian children.
2. Encouraging terrorism and violence against Israel:
A. Calls for terror attacks in the West Bank
Hamas, alongside other Gaza factions, has recently intensified its efforts to encourage terrorist attacks, together with calls to replicate the ‘March of Return’ in the West Bank and Jerusalem. This comes during the recent increase in terror attacks and their success, in Palestinian eyes, to cause Israeli casualties. Hamas is also making a significant effort to praise and enshrine terrorists who commit terrorist attacks. For example, Hamas praised the terrorist who performed the attacks in the Barkan industrial zone, Ashraf Naaloah, and deemed him a “national hero” whose actions should be imitated.
B. Institutional embrace of terrorism
Palestinian leadership, led by Mahmoud Abbas, continues to express support for terrorists. This trend is expressed by calls for support and a commitment to continue paying salaries to “martyrs” and prisoners, otherwise known as “Pay to Slay”. These calls are in tandem of senior PA officials visiting terrorists released from Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of terrorists who committed terror attacks. Senior members of the Palestinian leadership continue to embrace released prisoners, calling them “national heroes”, and holding public events in their honor.
Senior PA officials include: Saeb Erekat (PO Executive Committee Secretary), Sabri Sidam (Palestinian Minister of Education), Laila Ghanem (Governor of Ramallah), Kamal Hamed (Governor of Bethlehem), Senior Fatah officials, including Deputy Chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul.
Glorification of terrorists permeates into kindergartens.
3. Delegitimization of the State of Israel:
All Palestinian factions repeated their strong opposition to the increasing expressions of normalization between the Arab countries and Israel. Opposition to normalization took a major part in cartoons and caricatures in the Palestinian arena, and it is sometimes accompanied by particularly severe antisemitic, demonic, and dehumanizing expressions, together with clear public criticism against Arab and Islamic countries. It should be noted that with normalization there has been increased calls for boycotts against Israel, especially by Hamas officials, as part of the Palestinian efforts to prevent the expansion and strengthening of the ties between Israel and the Arab world.
Prominent Palestinian factions – both Hamas and Fatah – continue to publicly support the BDS movement. The Palestinian Authority and PLO act against Israel in contexts of delegitimization in the international arena, led by calls against the broadcasting of the May 2019 Eurovision contest in the “West Bank”.
C. Smearing and defaming Israel in the international arena regarding harm to children
Palestinian Authority officials began, by direct instructions from Mahmoud Abbas, to promote a worldwide anti-Israeli campaign using demonic and dehumanizing connotations, focusing on blaming Israel for ‘summary executions’ of children and regarding the question of detaining minors.
1) Hamas calls for terror attacks in the West Bank:
An article in the Hamas outlet, “Alsaralla” (22/10), praised the terrorist Ashraf Naaloah on his evasion of Israeli security forces: “Individual terrorism is an opportunity for many West Bank youth who are thirsty for taking revenge for the Occupation’s crimes. This model of terror attacks, and Ashraf’s ability to hide, serve as incentives to others to follow his lead and continue these actions, which have recently begun to seriously hurt the Occupation”.
Hamas political bureau member, Halil Elhaya, in an interview to the movement’s AlAqsa TV station “We say today to our people in the West Bank that there will be hundreds like Naaloah, who will teach the Zionist enemy a lesson it won’t forget“.
2) Expressing Support for Terrorists
Following the terror wave in Judea and Samaria, Fatah praised and applauded the terrorists who carried out attacks, including those in Barkan and Ofra. The Palestinian Authority ignored the fact that their victims were innocent civilians, and instead, accuses Israel of “killing civilians”.
Palestinian representative to the UN, Riad Mansour, in a letter sent to the UN Secretary-General, the President of the Security Council and the President of the UN General Assembly: “In recent days, a number of residents have been punished and murdered by the Israeli occupation forces. This is part of military operations aimed at avenging Palestinians following the killing of three Israeli soldiers. In just 24 hours, the occupation forces executed four Palestinian residents: Ashraf Nalwah, Salah al-Barghouthi (the terrorist who participated in the attack in Ofra), Hamdan al-A’aracha (carried out a vehicular terrorist attack) and Majed Matir (carried out a stabbing in Jerusalem)”.
Following massive pressure, Abu Mazen’s office published a weak condemnation (13/12): “The atmosphere created by the policy of repeated raids on Palestinian cities, as well as the incitement against Abu Mazen and the absence of a political horizon, led to the cycle of violence which we condemn and oppose, and which both sides will pay a price for. Our permanent policy is to oppose violence, raids and terror against settlers, and to stop the incitement, and not to create an atmosphere that will help increase tension”.
Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “The death of the three Palestinian residents, the martyrs, by the hand of occupation forces last night and this morning is proof that their soldiers have become machines of war and execution above the law, receiving their orders from the political echelon in Israel”.
Head of recruitment and organization in the movement, Manir al-Jaoub: “The Palestinian response (acts of terror) is natural in light of the daily Israeli attacks. When the occupation army spreads destruction and devastation, executes a policy of assassination on the ground against our people, and executes three youngsters (terrorists) in one night, Israel must know that the Palestinian response will be just as severe. The occupation leaders must understand that they are incapable of defending their soldiers”.
At the same time, the Fatah movement in the West Bank called on the Palestinian public, in an official announcement issued in light of the events, to escalate the clashes on Friday (14/12) in all areas as an act of “loyalty to the martyrs”.
3) Institutional embrace of terrorism
PA chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, in his speech at the opening of the PLO central council “I declare in front of everyone that the salaries of our martyrs, prisoners, and injured are a red line“. They try all means and still pressure us not to pay them. Even if this reaches a situation when they will deduct from our funds held by them the sum we pay to the martyrs, we said that this is a red line and we will not allow this. From 1965 to this very day, this situation is sacred to us. The martyrs and their families are sacred, and so are the prisoners and injured, and we must pay them all, even if one penny will be left in our hands, it is intended for them and not for the living“.
Abbas held a meeting in his office in Ramallah with the mother and brother of Arab-Israeli prisoner and member of the Fatah Central Committee, Karim Yunis. It should be noted that Karim Yunis is a seasoned convict, who has been imprisoned in Israel since before the Oslo accords. Yunis was a partner in the abduction and murder of the late Avraham Bromberg in 1980, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Among other things, Abu Mazen told the prisoner’s family: “The issue of prisoners is at the top of the agenda among Palestinian leadership, which invests every possible effort, together with institutions and the international community, to bring about their release from Israeli prisons.” Yunis’s mother and brother thanked Abu Mazen for his regular efforts and interest in “the issue of their son in particular, and of his brother in captivity in general”.
4) Calls against normalization between the Arab countries and Israel
A senior Hamas official in Gaza, Ismail Rajuan, during the 15th “Naval Flotilla” at the north of the Strip “Those who normalize (relations) with the Occupation shall be burned together with the apes and swine. Do you know who the apes and swine are? These are the Jews, erased by God and from which apes and swine were created… That is, they shall be burned together with the Jews… From here we send a message to those who normalize (relations) with the Occupation – stop this, as in this you encourage them to commit additional crimes against our people. Jews and Zionists are your enemy and the enemy of the Arab and Islamic nation”.
A Fatah Revolutionary Council member, Moufiq Mattar, in an article he published in the PA daily, ‘Al-Hayat al-Jadidah’ (28/10): What is sad today, and we will not be exaggerating if we say this, is a disaster. We see Israeli sports teams presented to audiences in sports stadiums in Arab countries, flying the flag of the Occupation, and what hurts even more is that the audience rises to its feet when they hear the Israeli anthem… You may be listening to the part where they say they are soldiers who killed Palestinian children and youth, who repeat the following words in your ears: “Any who is our enemy shall quake, all residents of Canaan and Babylon shall quake, may fear and horror rule their skies, and see their spilled blood and severed heads, then God’s chosen people shall fulfill God’s will”… Oh Arabs, we must take an example from the BDS movement”.
5) Support of the BDS movement
- The announcement concluding the Fatah ‘Revolutionary Council’ Convention in Khan al-Akhmar: “We must continue the political and physical confrontations with the ‘Occupation’ by escalating popular resistance in all places. Also, the Revolutionary Council repeats its support of the international anti-Israeli boycott movement, the BDS”.
- An announcement published following a wide meeting of the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaderships in Gaza (1/11): “We warn against the danger of running towards normalization and the enemy’s infiltration of the area, which requires stopping all forms of normalization with it, and officially and widely boycott the Zionist occupation in all areas“.
- A Hamas official in Gaza, Ismail Rajuan, in an announcement concluding the activities of Friday, “The Arab Nations must immediately act to widen the support for our nation and the pressure on the Zionist entity and the countries supporting it by opposing normalization and attacking its symbols. Also, they must exert pressure to legislate against normalization with the Zionist entity and establish boycott committees in the various Arab countries. Together with the Supreme Coordinating Committee of the National and Islamic Forces, hold discussions with forces and parties in the Arab countries to form conventions for expressing resistance to normalization and for supporting our Palestinian nation in several Arab capitals, parallel to the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Nation on November 29“.
6) Smearing Israel in the international arena regarding harming children
- The PLO Acting Committee Chair, Saeb Erekat, in an official letter to the UN Secretary General (01/10): “There is much evidence showcasing Israel harming innocent Palestinian children, by assassination and direct fire… Israel continues to systematically harm children, among other things by killing, kidnapping, attacks against schools and hospitals, withholding humanitarian aid, and thus it robs Palestinian children of their childhood… There is a policy of organized incitement by Israel’s official political ranks against Palestinian children and allowing their killing.”
- In the social networks, Israel is repeatedly blamed for killing innocent Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza:
7) Incitement in the Al-Anwar preschool in Dheisheh Refugee Camp:
On 21/11 the prisoner, As’haq Matzlah, from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp (Bethlehem) was also released after serving 16 years in prison in Israel for belonging to the ‘Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’ and participating in terrorist activities. It should be noted that Matzlah has two other brothers who were also involved in terrorist activities and arrested:
On 13 November, the prisoner Joad Jamil Hoshea, from Yata (south of Hebron) was released from after serving 16 years in prison for belonging to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement, and carrying out attacks against Israelis. The released prisoner received a particularly festive reception, which was covered by state-owned Palestinian television, and he was also visited by various elements from the Palestinian leadership, and from the Ministry of Education in particular:
On 06/12, Saeb Erekat visited the al-Aida refugee camp (Bethlehem District), together with the local governor, Kamal Hamid. They visited the home of Nasser and Mahmoud Abu Srur, who were sentenced to life imprisonment for involvement in the murder of GSS member Haim Nachmani in 1993. They later visited the released prisoner Jamal Noora who completed his prison term (19/07) of 14 years in Israel for participating in terrorist activities as part of his activities in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. Erekat stated during the visit: “The Palestinian leadership will continue appealing to international institutions in 2019, including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, the Human Rights Council and the Security Council.”
On 29/11, the minors Shadi Farah and Ahmed al-Za’tari, both 15, were released from detention. They were arrested in December 2015 on suspicion of planning a stabbing attack in Jerusalem. Immediately after their release, the children became ‘national heroes’, and received praise and appreciation from the Palestinian leadership and all the media outlets of the establishment:
On 21/11 the Israeli Arab prisoner, Samir Salih al-Sarsawi from the Haifa area, was released. He completed his 30 years in prison in Israel. Sarsawi, together with another terrorist, threw a hand grenade at a crowd of civilians in the Haifa pedestrian mall in 1988, causing the death of a man and wounding dozens:
Other events attended by Kadri Abu Bakr in which terrorists were honored:
Elements of the establishment encouraging violence
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zakie told a Turkish news agency in an interview (12/05): “The Palestinian leadership demanded that the Arab states be committed to the decisions made at the Arab summits, especially not to normalize relations with Israel and boycott it”.
Zakie expressed his opposition to the American resolution condemning Hamas at the UN, saying: “Hamas is not a terrorist organization. It is fighting for a just cause like any other liberation movement. It is the right of every people under occupation to act in all ways of resistance, including armed resistance. We and Hamas are in the same boat in the struggle against Israel. It is necessary that there be a price for occupation, through popular resistance, boycotts, and through international tribunals”.
Fatah’s official Facebook page