“Is this what a mother does?” Nablus Governor Ibrahim Ramadan is facing calls for his resignation after questioning the practice of sending children to fight.
The governor of Nablus (Shechem) spoke out on Wednesday against Palestinian mothers who encourage their children to participate in fighting that will lead to their deaths, in a rare criticism that sparked local backlash.
“I ask Palestinian mothers, and there are some extreme cases,” said Ibrahim Ramadan, who is affiliated with the ruling Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority, in an interview with a local radio station that was translated by Middle East Monitor. “There are some who send their children to fight. They take pictures with them and send them to commit suicide. Is that what a mother does? This isn’t a mother.”
The comments drew some protests in Nablus and Ramallah, according to Palestinian media reports, as well as condemnation from the Fatah’s party longtime rival Hamas, the US-designated terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip.
In his comments, the governor was “going against a big consensus in Palestinian society, and is therefore also coming under a lot of heat,” as the mothers of Palestinian attackers are often honored in Palestinian media, said the Palestinian affairs correspondent for Israel’s Kan news channel, Nurit Yohanan.
Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces, including while carrying attacks against civilians, are known as “martyrs,” and they and their families are generally highly respected figures in Palestinian society. The Palestinian Authority offers monthly salaries to Palestinians who perpetrate attacks against Israelis and, if they are killed in action, to their families.
The governor has faced calls for resignation and has since expressed regret for his comments, according to Yohanan.
Nablus is one of the cities at the center of recent tensions in Judea and Samaria and serves as the base of a newly-formed Palestinian militia dubbed Lion’s Den that has been linked to several clashes with Israeli troops, as well as to a thwarted large-scale attack in Tel Aviv.
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