Palestinian Authority tree-planting initiative teaches youth that terrorist murderers are “sanctified” and “eternally remain in our hearts.”
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has launched a project to honor all Palestinians who have died as so-called “Martyrs” since 1917. The PA will eventually plant 35,000 olive trees throughout the PA areas, with each tree named after a “Martyr.”
The PA defines all terrorists killed while attacking Israelis – including suicide bombers and mass murderers - as “Martyrs.” This is the largest systematic PA project to honor terrorist murderers that Palestinian Media Watch has ever documented.
Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub, who is also Chairman of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, launched the project on behalf of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He explained:
“We are honoring the Martyrs of the Palestinian cause from 1917 until now. These Martyrs are the most sacred thing we have.” [Official PA TV, Jan. 6, 2021]
Numerous PA institutions are involved in the initiative with which the PA explicitly targets Palestinian youth. One of the places chosen for the trees to be planted is schoolyards. The Director-General of Youth Affairs at the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Muhammad Sbeihat, explained that the intention is “not only to plant saplings, but also that they will be visible to our children, our students, our young men and women.”
This focus underscores the PA’s policy of promoting terrorists as role models to Palestinian youth, urging them to die as “Martyrs for Palestine.”
In addition to PA institutions, the organizations invited to take part in the glorification of murderers are scouts groups, school students, and youth clubs.
Adnan Abd Al-Jawad Rawajbeh, father of terrorist Bilal Rawajbeh, who was recently killed by return fire after shooting at and attempting to murder Israeli soldiers, explained the importance of a tree in his son’s name on official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Jan. 6, 2021:
“The symbolism of [Palestinian Martyrs’] Day is that we are saying to the entire world, to Israel: Despite death, we will live, and despite the sorrow, we will grow. Every day we will grow a tree, every day we will grow a Martyr. We love all the Martyrs, we are loyal to the Martyrs, for we are standing firm on this land. We are planted in this land. We’ll die standing here, and we won’t surrender.”
The father of the terrorist cited part of a Quranic verse about rewards for the Martyrs: ”And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, and provided for.” [Quran 3:169]
Significantly, the PA chose the name “Alive and Provided For” for the initiative, based on that verse in the Quran. It reflects the PA’s interpretation of Islam that all Palestinian terrorists who attack Israelis, all murderers of Israeli civilians – including suicide bombers – were fulfilling a religious obligation by killing or attempting to kill Israelis/Jews. If the terrorist died in the act, he/she receives the highest status in Islam possible – becoming a Shahid – a Martyr who died for Allah – and is rewarded with everlasting life with all needs “provided for” by Allah.
Tags ready to be tied to the olive trees show in all clarity that the PA intends – as usual – to honor and glorify terrorists and murderers. They include, as published on the Facebook page of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Jan. 6, 2021:
– “Self-sacrificing fighter Martyr Dalal Mughrabi” – led mass-murder of 37 Israeli civilians, including 12 children
– “Martyr commander Fathi Shaqaqi” – founder of the terror organization Islamic Jihad
– “Martyr commander Salah Khalaf” – planned Olympic massacre of 11 Israeli athletes
- “Martyr commander Muhammad Abbas ‘Abu Al-Abbas’” – headed the terror organization Palestinian Liberation Front
- “Martyr commander Yasser Arafat” – founder of Fatah and Chairman of the PLO/PA
Abbas’ advisor on District Affairs, Hajj Ismail Jaber, “praised the initiative because it honors the Martyrs, who are the most precious thing we have in our history,” according to official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 24, 2020.
The PA is presenting this as a major project to honor “Martyrs” throughout the PA areas and possibly in areas under Israeli jurisdiction as well.
As explained by Sbeihat in the video above: “This plan will be launched simultaneously in all districts of the homeland, in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and the Gaza Strip.” Al-Hayat Al-Jadida added that the “events will take place in all the homeland’s districts, including ‘occupied Jerusalem.’”
The PA defines all of the State of Israel and the disputed Area C under Israeli jurisdiction as districts of the “Palestinian homeland.”
The PA’s terror promotion, including honoring terrorists, is prohibited under article 251 of the Israeli Order for Security Provisions. PMW has notified the relevant Israeli authorities of this PA terror promotion program.
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