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January 02, 2018

Where’s the Coverage? Palestinian Leaders Spend Christmas Celebrating a Terrorist

abbas al-jawabra.jpg
PA President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Rafat Al-Jawabra on Dec. 25, 2017. Image courtesy of MEMRI

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and head of the Fatah movement, spent Dec. 25, 2017 meeting with a recently released terrorist named Rafat Al-Jawabra, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Major U.S. news outlets failed to report that a Palestinian leader they frequently label a “moderate,�? met with a commander of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a U.S.-designated terrorist group.

Al-Jawabra was “responsible for a series of shootings and a suicide attack in the Jewish settlement of Efrat during the second intifada,�? MEMRI noted. He was imprisoned in 2002 and was released at the end of 2017. While incarcerated, Al-Jawabra was elected to the local council of the village of Al-Doha in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

Fatah held several events and receptions to celebrate his release.

At one Dec. 16, 2017 event, Abbas’ deputy, Mahmoud al-Aloul, presented Al-Jawabra with a “certificate of honor.�? As CAMERA has highlighted in several Op-Eds, al-Aloul himself is an unrepentant and convicted terrorist whose February 2017 appointment has been ignored by the press (see, for example “The Media and the Missing Abu Jihad,�? The Washington Jewish Week, Oct. 4, 2017). Al-Aloul, whose nickname is Abu Jihad, is a possible successor to the octogenarian Abbas.

Speaking at Al-Jawabra’s release, Al-Aloul called the terrorist “a leader of whom we are proud.�?

At a rally celebrating his release, Al-Jawabra was greeted by hundreds of activists waving Palestinian and Fatah flags. MEMRI noted:

“In his own speech at the rally, Al-Jawabra mentioned the Al-Aqsa members killed during the second intifada, saying: ‘We renew our pact with the martyrs and tell them: your blood was not shed in vain.’ He added that the occupation, the prisons, the oppression and the Nakba ‘will only increase our faith, our strength and our resolve to continue the fight for Jerusalem... There will be no negotiations without Jerusalem and no solution without Jerusalem... We are united and the occupation is temporary.’ The audience responded with cries of ‘millions of martyrs are marching on Jerusalem.’�?

As CAMERA has pointed out, Palestinians often refer to the existence of the Jewish state of Israel on any land as “the occupation.�? Their school textbooks and official media depict a world without Israel—a direct violation of the Oslo accords that created the PA.

Fatah operatives spent ten days celebrating Al-Jawabra’s release. In addition to Abbas and Al-Aloul, other top officials, such as Fatah Central Committee Members Abbas Zaki and Jamal Muhaisen attended events, which included marches, parades, and motorcades.

It’s not unusual for Fatah to celebrate the release of convicted terrorists. However, it is unusual for the movement to spend ten days doing so—perhaps suggesting a greater role for Al-Jawabra and/or a desire to compensate for the U.S. decision to belatedly implement the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act. The latter was widely viewed as a loss for the PA and Fatah, which rejected the sovereign right of their chief benefactor, the United States, to place an embassy in Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

Major press outlets provided extensive—if frequently flawed—coverage of the United States’ decision. As CAMERA noted in The Times of Israel, many in the media claimed that it hindered or destroyed the “peace process.�? However, according to a Lexis-Nexis search, not a single major outlet reported the fact that top Palestinian leaders spent ten days—including Christmas—celebrating the release of a convicted terrorist and murderer. USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among others, failed to inform readers.

Posted by SD at January 2, 2018 01:37 PM


Does anybody know why this terrorist was released from prison after serving only 15 years?

Posted by: Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld at January 5, 2018 11:53 PM

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